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Justice News

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

Monday, November 13, 2017

Non-Indian Man from Albuquerque Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Federally Commissioned Tribal Officer

Defendant Threatened Officer with a Firearm During Traffic Stop on Laguna Pueblo

ALBUQUERQUE – Vincent P. Luciani, 26, a non-Indian man from Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to assaulting a federal officer.  Luciani’s plea agreement recommends a six-month term of imprisonment followed by a period of supervised release to be determined by the court. 


Luciani was arrested on July 3, 2017, and was charged by criminal complaint with assaulting an officer of the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Police Department, who is commissioned as a Special Law Enforcement Officer by the BIA’s Office of Justice Services.  According to the complaint, Luciani assaulted the officer by threatening the officer following a routine traffic stop.  Luciani committed the offense on June 30, 2017, on Laguna Pueblo in Cibola County, N.M.


Luciani was subsequently indicted on July 27, 2017, and charged with assault on a federal officer with a deadly and dangerous weapon on June 30, 2017, in Cibola County.


During today’s proceedings, Luciani pled guilty to a misdemeanor information charging him with assault on a federal officer.  In entering the guilty plea, Luciani admitted that on June 30, 2017, he was stopped by a Laguna Police officer who was commissioned as a Special Law Enforcement Officer by the BIA because he was driving his vehicle recklessly and at a high rate of speed.  Luciani further admitted that when the officer pulled him to the side of the road, Luciani exited his vehicle with a black object in his hand, threatened to injure the officer if the officer approached him and continued to threaten and yell at the officer until his arrest.  Luciani acknowledged that officers located a firearm in plain view in his vehicle during a search incident to Luciani’s arrest.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled. 


This case was investigated by the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Raquel Ruiz-Velez.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated November 13, 2017