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Press Release

Acoma Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Anthony Phillips, 27, an enrolled member and resident of Acoma Pueblo, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to an assault charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Phillips will be sentenced to 24 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.


Phillips was arrested on March 30, 2017, on an indictment charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury on Jun 19, 2016, on the Acoma Indian Reservation in Cibola County, N.M.


During today’s proceedings, Phillips pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on June 19, 2016, on the Acoma Indian Reservation, he assaulted a Laguna Pueblo woman by wrapping his arms around her, kicking her legs out from under her, and taking her to the ground and handcuffing her.  Phillips further admitted that the victim suffered an avulsion facture to her knee and a torn ACL as the result of the assault.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled. 


This case was investigated by the Laguna/Acoma Agency of the BIA Office of Justice Services.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa C. Dimas is prosecuting the case 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.

Updated October 13, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime