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Press Release

Man from Mescalero charged with assault in Indian Country

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

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Romeo Martinez, 22, of Mescalero, New Mexico, appeared in federal court on Aug. 6 for a preliminary hearing where he was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country. Martinez will remain detained pending trial.

            According to a criminal complaint, on June 9 Martinez allegedly showed up at his grandmother’s house on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Martinez, who is not an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, had been banished from the reservation by the Tribal Council. Martinez allegedly started screaming at his grandmother and her sister, identified as MB, accusing them of involvement in having his vehicle towed. When MB pleaded that they had not been involved, Martinez allegedly hit MB over the head and repeatedly punched her in the face. He then allegedly shook his grandmother and pinned her against the couch.

            MB and Martinez’s grandmother drove to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Police Station to report the alleged assault. MB was taken by ambulance to Lincoln County Medical Center where she received stitches to close a wound sustained in the assault. She will require surgery to repair a fractured nasal bone and septum. MB is an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe.

            A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Martinez faces up to 10 years in prison.

            The Las Cruces Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office and the Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Matilda McCarthy Villalobos is prosecuting the case.

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Updated August 11, 2021

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 21-156