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Mescalero Apache man pleads guilty to federal assault


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A 39-year-old Mescalero man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Las Cruces to an assault charge.

Patrick Moquino, 39, an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Nation, was arrested on July 11, 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with assaulting a Mescalero Apache man by punching and kicking the victim in the head, according to a released statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Moquino subsequently was indicted on Nov. 8, 2017, and charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury. According to the indictment, Moquino committed the assault on March 14, 2017, on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in Otero County.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, Moquino pleaded guilty to the indictment and admitted that on March 14, 2017, he assaulted the victim by punching and kicking the victim while the victim was lying on the ground. Moquino further admitted that the victim suffered a fractured nasal bone and head trauma as the result of the assault.

At sentencing, Moquino faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

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