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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 17, 2018

Laguna Pueblo Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Conviction on Federal Conspiracy and Commercial Robbery Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – Cruz Abeita, 28, an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo who resides in San Felipe, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Santa Fe, N.M., to 84 months of imprisonment for his conviction on a conspiracy charge and for violating the Hobbs Act.  Abeita will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.  Abeita’s conviction arises out of the robbery of the Dancing Eagle Travel Center in Cibola County, N.M., on Dec. 30, 2016,

Abeita was arrested in Feb. 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with armed robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence on Dec. 30, 2016, on the Laguna Pueblo in Cibola County.  According to the complaint, Abeita and another individual entered the Casa Blanca Travel Center on the Laguna Pueblo where they threatened the cashier with what appeared to be a handgun and stole money from the cash register.

On Oct. 3, 2017, Abeita pled guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy and violating the Hobbs Act by robbing a business engaged in interstate commerce.  In entering the guilty plea, Abeita admitted that on Dec. 30, 2016, he entered the Dancing Eagle Travel Center in Cibola County, with an associate, where they demanded money from the cashier and threatened the cashier with a replica pistol that appeared to be a real firearm. 

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 Laguna Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Murphy prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated August 17, 2018