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Press Release

Laguna Pueblo Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Attempting to Rob Sky City Casino

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Steven Paul Tharpe, 51, a member and resident of the Laguna Pueblo, was sentenced this morning to 24 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his attempted robbery conviction. 

Tharpe was arrested on May 15, 2014, on an indictment charging him with attempted robbery, and has been in federal custody since that time.  According to the indictment, on July 21, 2012, Tharpe attempted to commit a robbery in Indian Country in Cibola County, N.M.

On July 9, 2014, Tharpe entered a guilty plea to the indictment and admitted that he attempted to rob the Sky City Casino, which is located in Acoma Pueblo, on July 21, 2012.  In his plea agreement, Tharpe admitted that he attempted to rob the Casino by displaying a BB gun to a teller in a cashier’s cage at the Casino and demanding money.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI, the Laguna/Acoma Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Acoma Pueblo Tribal Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez.

Updated January 26, 2015