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Press Release

Ohkay Owingeh Woman Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Tribal Officer

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Crystal Torres, 27, pleaded guilty this morning to an assault with a dangerous weapon charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Torres, a member and resident of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, was arrested on Feb. 14, 2013, on an indictment charging her with (1) assaulting a woman with a hammer, and (2) assaulting a man with a knife.  According to the indictment, both offenses occurred on Jan. 22, 2012, on Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo lands.  Court filings reflect that the victim of the second assault was an officer of the Ohkay Owingeh Tribal Police Department.  

This morning, Torres pled guilty to the second count of the indictment charging her with assault with a dangerous weapon, a knife.  According to Torres’s plea agreement, on Jan. 22, 2012, tribal officers were dispatched to Torres’s residence on Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo.  When the officers arrived, they observed Torres running towards a road and into traffic.  When the victim attempted to catch Torres to get her out of the lane of traffic after three vehicles nearly struck her, Torres pulled out a hunting knife and advanced toward the victim, ignoring the victim’s commands that she drop the knife.   

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Torres faces a sentence of 24 months in federal prison but retains the right to request a lower sentence.  Torres remains on conditions of release pending her sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez.

Updated January 26, 2015