News and Press Releases

Pine Ridge Man Pleads to Assaulting a Tribal Officer

June 27, 2012
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Bennett Leroy Sierra, Jr., age 40, of Pine Ridge, appeared before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken on June 25, 2012, and pleaded guilty to a charge of Assaulting a Federal Officer. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 8 years' imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.

In May 2011, Sierra kicked a tribal police officer who was arresting him, causing contusions and bruising. The investigation was conducted by the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman.

A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for November 2, 2012. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending sentencing.



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