Pascua Yaqui Tribal Member Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Assault with a Vehicle

March 29, 2024

TUCSON Ariz. – Gerardo Vasquez Valenzuela, 62, an enrolled member of the Pascua Yaqui Indian Tribe and a resident of the Pascua Yaqui Indian Nation near Tucson, was sentenced last week by United States District Judge Rosemary Márquez to 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Valenzuela pleaded guilty to Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury on September 13, 2023. 

On August 14, 2022, a Pascua Yaqui Police Department officer was flagged down by a man who was yelling out in pain and bleeding heavily from his head. The man, who sustained multiple fractures and internal injuries, told the officer that he had been intentionally struck by a truck driven by Valenzuela.

Evidence collected connected Valenzuela’s truck to damage to a chain link fence at the scene. The victim’s belongings were found scattered along the tire tracks for approximately 50 feet, indicating he was dragged by the vehicle. Video evidence from a home surveillance system captured a vehicle matching the description of Valenzuela’s truck leaving the area. Valenzuela told officers that he had driven the truck earlier that day but denied being in a vehicle accident and denied hitting anyone with the truck.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pascua Yaqui Tribal Police, and Pima County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra M. Hansen and Frances Kreamer Hope, District of Arizona, Tucson, and Pascua Yaqui Tribal Prosecutor Russell E. Boatwright, Prosecutors Office Pascua Yaqui Tribe, handled the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:           CR-22-01908-TUC-RM
RELEASE NUMBER:    2024-040_Valenzuela

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