News and Press Releases

Three Defendants Beat Woman, Held Her in Car Trunk for Hours

March 9, 2009

Three members of the Tulalip Tribe have been charged in federal court with Conspiracy to Commit Assault and Assault resulting in severe bodily injury. The charges against two men and one woman follow the beating and kidnapping of a 40-year-old Canadian Tribal Member on March 5, 2009. ELIJAH PACHECO, 31, GILBERT MOSES, JR., 41, and MELODIE ANCHETA, 38, all Tulalip tribal members will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:30 Tuesday, March 10, 2009, in front of Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida.

According to the complaint filed in the case, PACHECO, MOSES and ANCHETA were all riding in the victim’s car when they became angry at the victim claiming she had referred to ANCHETA with a derogatory Spanish word. MOSES was kicking at the victim in the back seat of the car, while PACHECO pulled her out of the car and both men began beating and kicking her in the head, face and torso. All three then loaded the victim into the car trunk. One threatened to drive the car into the water. ANCHETA drove the car to another tribal member’s house to get a change of clothing, and showed the friend the woman in the trunk. The other tribal member urged the three to get medical attention for the victim, but they refused. ANCHETA slammed the trunk shut and they drove off. The other tribal member notified law enforcement, and the car was located and the victim was rescued and taken to the hospital suffering from bleeding on the brain, a broken vertebrae, cuts and bruises. PACHECO, MOSES, and ANCHETA have been in the custody of tribal police since their arrest on March 5, 2009.

The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Conspiracy to Commit Assault is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Assault resulting in severe bodily injury is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Tulalip Tribal Police and the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ye-Ting Woo.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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