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Press Release

Florida man convicted of manslaughter, assault on the Laguna Pueblo

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced today that a federal jury convicted Alexis Riego, 50, of Merritt Island, Florida, of four counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury committed in 2019.

A grand jury indicted Riego in April of 2021. According to the indictment and other court records, on Sept. 7, 2019, Riego, a commercial motor vehicle driver, recklessly crashed into a line of stationary traffic in a construction zone on Interstate 40 within the Laguna Pueblo. At the time of the crash, Mr. Riego was speeding and using his cellular telephone. The crash caused a six-car pile-up that killed four people and seriously injured two. The crash caused the closure of interstate 40 for several hours.

“When we take the wheel, we take on a collective responsibility for the families who share our highways,” said U.S. Attorney Uballez. “The consequences for failing in that responsibility are grave and irrevocable. This conviction is a sobering reminder that a moment on video chat can forever change your life, and end the lives of others.”

Riego will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Laguna Police Department and the New Mexico State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph M. Spindle, Elisa Dimas and Matthew Nelson are prosecuting the case.

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Updated September 28, 2022

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 22-213