ALBUQUERQUE ― Ferguson Pierce, 52, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Farmington was sentenced Friday morning in federal court in Santa Fe to 210 months in prison followed by10 years of supervised release for his conviction on an aggravated sexual abuse charge.
Pierce also will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division and Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.
Pierce was arrested in November 2015, on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually assaulted and raped a Navajo woman July 6, 2015 in San Juan County on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Pierce was indicted Aug. 25, 2015 and charged with aggravated sexual abuse.
On June 6, 2016, Pierce pled guilty to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse. In entering the guilty plea, Pierce admitted that on July 6, 2015, he forced his way into the victim’s residence and sexually assaulted the victim.
This case was investigated by the Farmington Office of the FBI and the Shiprock Office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Adams prosecuted the case as part of the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico, which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna.
The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native American women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.
The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.