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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Las Cruces Man Sentenced to Almost Seven Years for Assaulting Federal Law Enforcement Officers

ALBUQUERQUE – Richard Ruiz Leyva, 37, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 82 months in prison for assaulting federal law enforcement officers. Leyva will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.


Leyva was arrested in Aug. 2016, and charged by a criminal complaint with assaulting and resisting local law enforcement officers who were federally commissioned by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS). According to the complaint, Leyva assaulted the officers by using his vehicle as a weapon by repeatedly running into law enforcement vehicles as the officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Leyva. Leyva also drove his vehicle directly at an officer who had exited his vehicle after Leyva had rendered the officer’s vehicle inoperable by crashing into the law enforcement vehicle.


On March 22, 2017, Leyva pled guilty to a felony information charging him with two counts of assaulting, resisting and interfering with federal officers engaged in the performance of their official duties. In entering the guilty plea, Leyva admitted that on Aug. 19, 2016, he used his vehicle as a deadly weapon in an attempt to flee from federal and local law enforcement officers because of an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Leyva further admitted that he drove directly at an officer but turned away when the officer fired his weapon at Leyva in an effort to stop Leyva.


This case was investigated by the Las Cruces offices of the FBI and the USMS and the Las Cruces Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah M. Davenport of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.

Violent Crime
Updated July 18, 2017