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Press Release

Kewa Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Waylon Evan Pacheco, 29, an enrolled member and resident of Kewa Pueblo, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to assaulting his intimate partner by strangling or suffocating.

Pacheco was arrested in Dec. 2017, on an indictment charging him with assault of an intimate partner by strangling and assault with a dangerous weapon, a brick, with intent to do bodily harm.  According to the indictment, Pacheco committed the crime on July 4, 2016, on the Kewa Pueblo Indian Reservation in Sandoval County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Pacheco pled guilty to assault of an intimate partner by strangling or suffocating.  In entering the guilty plea, Pacheco admitted that on July 4, 2016, he assaulted his former girlfriend by hitting her face and body, hitting her with a brick and strangling her by putting his knee on the victim’s neck while she was on the ground.  Pacheco further admitted that the victim briefly lost consciousness as a result of the assault. 

At sentencing, Pacheco faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA, Office of Justice Services.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Rozzoni is prosecuting the case as part of the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's ongoing efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.

Updated November 9, 2018

Indian Country Law and Justice