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Press Release

Jicarilla Apache man charged with kidnapping and assault

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 Kevin El Cavazone has been charged by criminal complaint with kidnapping and assault of an intimate partner by strangling. Cavazone, 39, of Mescalero, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe, made an initial appearance in federal court on June 2 and will remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for June 7.

According to the complaint, from May 5 to May 11, Cavazone allegedly confined his ex-girlfriend within his home on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. To keep her confined, Cavazone allegedly threatened the victim, who is an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, and threatened to harm her family and others if she tried to leave. During this period of confinement, Cavazone allegedly assaulted the victim and strangled her until she could no longer breathe.

The victim was able to escape on May 11 and got a ride from a passing car to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Police Station a few miles away. She was taken to an emergency room for treatment for her injuries.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Cavazone faces up to 10 years in prison for assault of an intimate partner by strangling and up to life in prison for kidnapping.

The Las Cruces Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Assistant United States Attorneys Matilda McCarthy Villalobos and Eliot Neal are prosecuting the case.

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Updated June 3, 2022

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 22-0127