News and Press Releases

Jicarilla Apache Man Pleads Guilty to a Domestic
Assault by a Habitual Offender Charge

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address
the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE – Quentin Scott Veneno, 27, pleaded guilty this morning to a domestic assault by a habitual offender charge under a plea agreement that requires him to serve a 27 month federal prison sentence.  Veneno’s guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough and Police Chief Kendall P. Vicenti of the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department.

Veneno, a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation who resides in Dulce, N.M., was arrested on Sept. 19, 2013, based on an indictment alleging that he assaulted his domestic partner, also a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, in Nov. 2012.  Veneno was charged federally as a habitual domestic violence offender because he has two prior domestic violence convictions in the Jicarilla Apache Nation Court.

This morning, Veneno pled guilty to the indictment and admitted assaulting his intimate partner and the mother of his child by striking her in the face multiple times with a closed fist and biting her on the neck.  Veneno further admitted that he committed this crime on Nov. 8, 2012, in a location within the Jicarilla Apache Reservation.  Veneno also admitted that he previously was convicted on domestic violence charges on two occasions in 2009 before the Jicarilla Apache Nation Court.

Veneno has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David Adams.  It was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.

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