Member of the Laguna Pueblo sentenced to three years in federal prison for assault in Indian Country

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ALBUQERQUE, N.M. – Joshua Mendez, 40, of New Laguna, New Mexico, and enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, was sentenced in federal court on March 24 to three years and eight months for assault resulting in serious bodily harm and domestic assault by a habitual offender in Indian Country.

Mendez pleaded guilty to these offenses on July 22, 2021. According to the plea agreement, on March 20, 2020, Mendez assaulted Jane Doe and John Doe in Cibola County, New Mexico, on the Laguna Pueblo. During the assault at Jane Doe’s residence, Mendez pushed Jane Doe, his girlfriend at time, and stabbed John Doe several times with a knife. Due to the injuries from Mendez’s assault, John Doe was taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

Upon his release from prison, Mendez will be subject to three years of supervised release.

Mendez was previously convicted for assault of an intimate partner and battery on Feb. 6, 2017, and again on Oct. 17, 2017. 

The Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated this case with assistance from the Laguna Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa C. Dimas prosecuted the case.