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Press Release

Santa Clara Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Brandon Tafoya, 23, a member of the Santa Clara Pueblo who resides in Espanola, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.    

Tafoya was arrested on Nov. 5, 2013, on an indictment charging him with two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  The indictment alleged that Tafoya knowingly drove a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol on April 11, 2013, in Santa Clara Pueblo in Rio Arriba County, N.M., and recklessly crashed into another vehicle causing two women to suffer serious bodily injuries. 

During today’s proceedings, Tafoya pled guilty to the indictment and admitted assaulting the victims by crashing into their vehicle while he was driving under influence of alcohol. Tafoya acknowledged that as a result of the assaults, the victims sustained internal injuries, cuts and lacerations.  One of the victims also sustained a hip fracture and a pelvic fracture.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Tafoya will be sentenced to a prison term not to exceed three years, including two years at a rehabilitation program and a year in a transitional half-way house or such other program that may be designated by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case was investigated by the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Santa Clara Tribal Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Presiliano A. Torrez.

Updated January 26, 2015