Former Ohkay Owingeh Police Department Officer Charged with Obstruction of Justice
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, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Justin Aquino made an initial appearance in federal court on an indictment charging him with obstruction of justice and making false statements. Aquino, 28, of Ohkay Owingeh, will remain on conditions of release pending trial.
According to the indictment, on Feb. 26, 2020, Aquino allegedly used his position as an officer with the Ohkay Owingeh Police Department to impede a federal grand jury investigation by disclosing information about an ongoing investigation being conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration to an individual outside of the investigation. Then, on May 24, 2022, while working for the Pojoaque Police Department, Aquino was confronted by special agents from the FBI and Aquino falsely stated that he had not disclosed information to anyone outside of the investigation
An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Aquino faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
This case was investigated by the Santa Fe office of the Federal Bureau Investigation with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Region III Drug Enforcement Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Peter J. Eicker is prosecuting the case.
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Updated July 6, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-143