News and Press Releases

Defendant Assaulted Two People on Tribal Land in Less Than a Month

March 3, 2010

ELIJAH PACHECO, 32, a member of the Tulalip Tribes was sentenced late yesterday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 110 months in prison and three years of supervised release for two counts of Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. PACHECO and two other tribal members were charged last year following the beating and kidnapping of a 40-year-old Canadian Tribal Member on March 5, 2009. The assault was the second time in less than a month that ELIJAH PACHECO had badly beaten someone on the reservation. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman called them “Egregious assaults.... each time the violence escalates.” Judge Pechman said, “He is perpetuating crime on the community that might otherwise embrace him.”

According to records filed in the case, PACHECO, and two other Tulalip Tribal members, Gilbert Moses, Jr., 42, and Melodie Ancheta, 39, 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.

Just three weeks before this incident, on February 18, 2009, PACHECO beat another man after they had been socializing at a camp fire on Marine View Drive in the Tulalip reservation. PACHECO and Acheta beat the victim and stole his car and wallet, leaving him so injured he had to crawl to the side of the road for medical aid.

Prosecutors asked for a lengthy sentence saying, “The community, particularly the Tulalip Tribe and the reservation, need to be protected from further acts of violence and other crimes that may be committed by the defendant. The government anticipates that it is highly likely that the defendant will revert to criminal behavior upon release from prison, and that he has demonstrated an increasing pattern of violent behavior and the public must be protected,” Assistant United States Attorney Ye-Ting Woo wrote in her sentencing memo.

The other participants in the beatings, Gilbert Moses, Jr., 42, and Melodie Ancheta, were sentenced last year to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

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

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ye-Ting Woo, and William H. Redkey, Jr.

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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