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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Laguna Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Statutory Rape Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Joshua Waconda, 21, a member and resident of Laguna Pueblo, entered a guilty plea this morning to an indictment charging him with sexual abuse of a minor under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Waconda was arrested in Nov. 2012, on an indictment charging him with engaging in a sexual act with a child under the age of 16 years in Aug. 2011, on Laguna Pueblo lands.  During today’s proceedings, Waconda pleaded guilty to the indictment.

At sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled, Waconda faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Waconda will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

This case was investigated by the Laguna/Acoma Agency of BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Pueblo of Laguna Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback. 

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated January 26, 2015