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Press Release

Jicarilla Apache Man Arraigned on Indictment Charging Him with Assaulting a Federally Commissioned Tribal Officer

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Lawrence Roybal, 53, a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation who resides in Dulce, N.M., was arraigned today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on an indictment charging him with assaulting a federal officer.  Roybal entered a not guilty plea to the indictment and was ordered detained pending trial which has yet to be scheduled.

Roybal was arrested in May 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon.  According to the criminal complaint, Roybal attacked a Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Officer with a pitchfork on May 11, 2015, in Dulce, N.M., which is within the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation in Rio Arriba County, N.M.  Roybal was subsequently indicted on June 9, 2015, and charged with assaulting a federal officer who was engaged in the performance of his official duties.  The indictment alleges that the tribal officer was commissioned as a special federal officer by the BIA at the time of the assault.

If convicted of the crime charged in the indictment, Roybal faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  Charges in complaints and indictments are merely accusations.  All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Raquel Ruiz-Velez is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 17, 2015