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Justice News

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Laguna Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting a Federally Deputized Tribal Police Officer

ALBUQUERQUE – This afternoon, Phillip Derek Lorenzo, 24, a member and resident of Laguna Pueblo, pled guilty to an indictment charging him with assaulting a federal officer. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and DuWayne W. Honahni, Sr., Special Agent in Charge of District IV of BIA’s Office of Justice Services.

Lorenzo was indicted on Sept. 25, 2012, on a charge of assaulting a federal officer on Nov. 11, 2011, in Cibola County, N.M. According to the indictment, on Nov. 11, 2011, Lorenzo repeatedly struck and kicked an officer of the Laguna Pueblo Tribal Police Department who holds a Special Law Enforcement Commission from the BIA when the officer responded to a call at a residence located in Laguna Pueblo.

During today’s proceedings, Lorenzo pled guilty to the indictment and admitted assaulting a federal officer and employee who was engaged in the performance of his official duty without cause or excuse. More specifically, Lorenzo admitted punching and kicking the federal officer during a struggle.

At sentencing, Lorenzo faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison. His sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

The case was investigated by the BIA, Office of Justice Services, Southern Pueblos Agency, with assistance from the Laguna Pueblo Tribal Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback.

Updated January 26, 2015