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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 1, 2019

Caddo County Man Who Shot Woman in Indian Country Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison

OKLAHOMA CITY – MARTIN ROCHA, 56, a resident of Caddo County, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  The sentence took into account Rocha’s having used the firearm to shoot a woman in Indian Country.

According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed in federal court on May 19, 2018, officers with the Binger Police Department and the Caddo County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement after a 911 call reported Rocha’s shooting of a woman with a Winchester 30-30 rifle.  According to the affidavit, Rocha was estranged from his wife and was not allowed to live with her.  The investigation determined that Rocha drove up to the residence, got out of his car, and fired a single shot that caused life-threatening injuries to the victim, a neighbor.  The woman survived but suffered permanent injuries.  Rocha has been in custody since May 18, 2018, the day of the shooting.

On June 20, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Rocha.  He was charged with assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and using a firearm during a crime of violence.  The assault charges were federal crimes because the indictment alleges the victim is an Indian and the shooting took place in Indian Country.  More specifically, the affidavit identified the victim as an Indian and also stated that Rocha is not an Indian.

On September 6, 2018, Rocha pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum punishment of ten years in prison.  In a plea agreement, he acknowledged he used the firearm to commit another crime.  He also stipulated to advisory sentencing guideline calculations that took the circumstances of the incident and the victim’s injuries into account.

Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton sentenced Rocha yesterday to 108 months, or nine years, in federal prison.  He will be on supervised release for three years after his prison term.  The court ordered him to pay $67,747.71 in restitution for medical expenses and announced that further restitution proceedings will take place on April 29, 2019.

These charges are the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, with assistance from the Binger Police Department and the Caddo County Sheriff’s Office.  Prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvo Mikkanen, the case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses on the most violent offenders and partners with local prevention and re-entry programs for lasting reductions in crime.  To enhance local effectiveness, the Western District of Oklahoma has emphasized prosecution of federal gun crimes connected to domestic violence.

Reference is made to public filings for further information.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated February 1, 2019