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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Jicarilla Apache Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting a Federally Commissioned Tribal Officer

ALBUQUERQUE – Lawrence Roybal, 53, a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation who resides in Dulce, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to assaulting a federal officer.  The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement.

 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.  The crime occurred in Dulce, N.M., which is within the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation in Rio Arriba County, N.M.

Roybal was 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 victim was a tribal officer commissioned as a special federal officer by the BIA at the time of the assault.

Today, Roybal entered a guilty plea to the indictment.  At sentencing, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.  Roybal has been in custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing.

 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.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated February 4, 2016