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Press Release

Mescalero Apache Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – John Michael Carrillo, 27, an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to an assault charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Carrillo will be sentenced to 21 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.


Carrillo was arrested on Dec. 17, 2016, on a criminal complaint alleging that he assaulted a Mescalero Apache woman on Dec. 2, 2016, on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in Otero County, N.M., and that the victim suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the assault. According to the complaint, Carrillo assaulted the victim by throwing the victim to the floor and stomping on the victim’s face causing her to suffer a broken jaw, which required surgery.


During today’s proceedings, Carrillo pled guilty to a felony information charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury. In entering the guilty plea, Carrillo admitted that on Dec. 2, 2016, he assaulted the victim by stomping on her face. Carrillo acknowledged that the victim suffered a fractured jaw as the result of the assault, which required surgical repair. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.


This case was investigated the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office as part of the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico, which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native American women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.

Updated May 11, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice