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Implementation of misdemeanor docket to address domestic violence in Indian Country

              ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jake Martin Roybal, 43, of Pojoaque, New Mexico, was sentenced today in federal court on a federal domestic violence charge for assaulting his wife.

              Roybal pleaded guilty on Sept. 10. In the plea agreement, Roybal admitted to knowingly and recklessly assaulting the victim on the Pueblo of Pojoaque in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, on Oct. 22, 2019. As a result of this conviction, Roybal will be placed on two years of supervised probation, prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or consuming alcohol and ordered to obtain a substance abuse evaluation and attend counseling for domestic violence. Roybal will also be prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition and explosives.

              The case was originally charged as a citation through the Central Violation Bureau, which processes citations written by federal officers for petty misdemeanor offenses. In certain circumstances, a citation can result in formal criminal charges.

               In April of 2019, John C. Anderson, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, implemented a misdemeanor docket through the Central Violations Bureau with the approval of the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. The program allows tribal officers to issue federal citations for forty-six misdemeanor offenses occurring on tribal lands, including criminal trespass, simple possession of narcotics, deprivation of property of a household member, criminal damage to property, and certain traffic offenses. Citations also may be issued to non-natives on or passing through tribal lands where the crime directly affects tribal members or tribal interests.  These citations include misdemeanor violations of non-native versus native domestic violence.

              The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico has been working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services and with local tribal police departments including the Pueblo of Isleta and the Pueblo of Pojoaque to train officers in the process of issuing these citations.

 “The goal of this additional CVB docket is to close jurisdictional gaps and thereby improve public safety within Indian Country. In this case, the CVB docket has allowed us to hold a domestic violence offender, accountable in federal court. within Indian Country,” said Anderson.

              The Pojoaque Department of Public Safety and Bureau of Indian Affairs Northern Pueblos Agency investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Aliberti prosecuted the case.

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