Victim was defendant’s wife
DURANGO, Co. – Bryan Ace Ponzo, age 36, from the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation surrounding Towaoc, was recently sentenced to serve 129 months in federal prison by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn for assault with a dangerous weapon, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs announced.
In addition to pleading guilty to witness tampering, Judge West found Ponzo guilty beyond a reasonable of six contempt charges, ordering an additional 24 months imprisonment. In total, Ponzo will serve 153 months imprisonment. Ponzo and his victim are enrolled members of the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe. According to the public record, Ponzo has an extensive state and tribal criminal history, including numerous assault and domestic violence related offenses.
Ponzo was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 6, 2017. The indictment was superseded by an Information on March 15, 2018. He pled guilty before Judge Blackburn on that same date. He was sentenced on October 9, 2018.
According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, Ponzo and his wife resided on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. On the morning of November 2, 2016, Ponzo and his wife had an argument. He had looked through her Facebook account and questioned her about male friends. During this time, Ponzo grabbed his wife from the couch and forced her to shower. Ponzo then sexually assaulted her on the bed.
After Ponzo sexually assaulted his wife, he pulled her off the bed and she hit her head on the floor. Ponzo then went to the closet, grabbed brass knuckles, and threatened his wife with the brass knuckles. Law enforcement accompanied the wife to a hospital in Utah that afternoon, where her injuries were diagnosed and documented.
During the case, Magistrate Judge West issued a No Contact Order holding that Ponzo could not contact his victim directly or indirectly. While in pre-trial custody at La Plata County Detention Facility, Ponzo dialed his wife’s number at least 1,749 times in an attempt to influence her trial testimony. In these recorded calls, Ponzo repeatedly blamed his wife and instructed her to “fix it.”
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason St. Julien and Jeffrey Graves.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.