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Press Release

Former White Mountain Police Officer Indicted for Obstruction of Investigation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Last week, a federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a two-count indictment against Joshua Ben Anderson, 49, of Whiteriver, for his actions in connection with the death of a woman on Thanksgiving Day, 2023.

The grand jury charged Anderson, a former White Mountain Apache Tribal police officer, with one count of Engaging in Misleading Conduct to Hinder or Delay and one count of Corruptly Altering and Concealing Evidence.

The indictment alleges that, at approximately 3:31 a.m. on November 23, 2023, Anderson was on-duty and was dispatched to conduct a welfare check of a body that had been observed on State Route 73, on White Mountain Apache Tribal lands. Anderson proceeded to the scene and discovered that the person was deceased. Anderson later acknowledged that only minutes before being dispatched to the scene, he had driven the same stretch of highway and felt a “bump” but continued southbound on SR 73 without stopping to investigate.

Anderson actively took part in the police investigation into the pedestrian’s death. He spoke with paramedics, interviewed witnesses, briefed and directed officers, filled out an autopsy report, and notified the victim’s family of her death. The indictment alleges that Anderson did not inform his superiors or fellow officers about his likely involvement in the traffic fatality, but rather allowed the investigation to continue. It is further alleged that after returning to his home, Anderson removed the bumper from his patrol vehicle, which had been damaged in the accident, and concealed it. The next day, Anderson resigned from the police department.

A conviction for each of the two alleged crimes carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the White Mountain Apache Tribe Police Department conducted the investigation in this case. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix, is handling the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:           CR-24-08027-PHX-SPL
RELEASE NUMBER:    2024-036_Anderson

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Public Affairs
Zach J. Stoebe
Telephone: (602) 514-7413

Updated March 19, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 2024-036_Anderson