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Justice News

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jicarilla Apache Man Sentenced for Assaulting a Federally Commissioned Tribal Police Officer

ALBUQUERQUE – Lawrence Roybal, 53, a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation who resides in Dulce, N.M., was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for assaulting a tribal police officer who was commissioned as a federal officer.

“The Department of Justice is dedicated to supporting the courageous men and women who wear the badge and help uphold our Constitution,” said U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez.  “We will hold accountable those who threaten our public safety by attacking and seeking to harm our nation’s peacekeepers.”

Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division said, “The law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe deserve the best protection we can give them.  The FBI is proud to have worked on this case with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department.  We hope this case sends a clear message this type of crime will not be tolerated.”

“All people are sacred; actions must be made in a split second.  The officer involved in this case exhibited a keen insight to remain safe and capture a very dangerous offender without using deadly force,” said Chief Sylvester Stanley of the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police.  “We must remember that all officers have families that love them, and at the end of the day officers must go home safely to be with their families.  The Jicarilla Apache Nation is proud of all our brothers in blue.”

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

On Sept. 3, 2015, Roybal entered a guilty plea to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.

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

Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated February 4, 2016