Former Santa Ana Pueblo official pleads guilty to embezzlement, tax evasion charges

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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — A former governor of the Santa Ana Pueblo has pleaded guilty to embezzlement and tax evasion.

Federal prosecutors say 60-year-old Bruce Sanchez entered the pleas in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque on Wednesday.

He pleaded guilty to two counts from a 2012 indictment that accused him and a co-defendant of embezzling at least $3.6 million from a group formed by the state's 19 pueblos to develop the old Albuquerque Indian School property.

Sanchez was governor of Santa Ana Pueblo between 1999 and 2010 and was a prominent figure in statewide Indian affairs.

His trial had been scheduled to start Feb. 11.

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