Tulalip Tribal member Elijah Pacheco was sentenced yesterday to more than nine years in prison for two felony charges of assault resulting in serious bodily injury. According to federal prosecutors, Pacheco, 32, beat and kidnapped a 40-year-old female Canadian tribal member three weeks after beating and robbing another victim following a campfire social. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman noted, “…each time the violence escalates. He is perpetuating crime on the community that might otherwise embrace him.”
On March 5, 2009, Pacheco and two other Tulalip Tribal members, Gilbert Moses Jr. and Melodie Ancheta, were riding in the victim’s car when the victim allegedly referred to Ancheta by a Spanish slur. Pacheco pulled the victim out of the car and beat her with the help of Moses. The three Tulalip Tribal members then loaded the victim into the trunk of her own car.
After threatening to drive the car into the water, the assailants instead drove to another tribal member’s house so that Ancheta could change clothes. There, they showed off the beaten woman stuffed in her own trunk. Upon seeing the victim, the other tribal member asked the assailants to get the victim medical attention but they refused and drove off. The tribal member then called Tulalip Tribal Police, who found the car and rescued the victim. At the hospital, the victim was discovered to have bleeding on the brain and a broken vertebrae, among other cuts and bruises.
Three weeks prior to this incident, on February 18, 2009, Pacheco beat a man, and stole his car and wallet, after socializing with him at a camp fire on tribal land. The victim was so badly beaten that he had to crawl to the side of the road to find aid.
Moses and Ancheta were each sentenced last year to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release for their roles in the March 5 assault.