Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Previously convicted member of the Pueblo of Laguna pleads guilty to federal assault charges in Indian Country

           ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Joshua Mendez, 40, of New Laguna, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, pleaded guilty on July 22 to two counts of an indictment charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and domestic assault by a habitual offender in Indian Country.

          A grand jury returned an indictment against Mendez for these offenses on Sept. 10, 2020. According to his plea agreement, on March 20, 2020, Mendez assaulted his girlfriend, Jane Doe, at her residence in Cibola County, New Mexico, on the Pueblo of Laguna. When John Doe attempted to intervene, Mendez stabbed John Doe several times with a knife. As a result of Mendez’s attack, John Doe suffered serious injuries that required hospital treatment.

          Mendez was previously convicted on two separate occasions in Pueblo Court in the Pueblo of Laguna for committing battery upon another victim, who was his girlfriend at the time, on Feb. 6 and Oct. 17 in 2017.

          Mendez is currently in custody pending sentencing. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

          The Laguna Division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated this case with assistance from the Laguna Criminal Investigations Bureau. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa Dimas is prosecuting the case.

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