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Press Release

Ketchikan Seasonal Worker Charged with Assault on a Federal Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska-U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a Ketchikan man was arraigned on one charge of assault on a federal officer.

Dean Wesley Garcia, 23, was indicted September 16, 2014, on a sole count of assault on a federal officer.  Garcia pled not guilty to the charge.

According to the information presented to the court, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Special Agent visited Garcia at his place of employment in response to a report of illegal sales of sport-caught halibut in Ketchikan, Alaska.  While the agent was interviewing Garcia inside his business he noticed a large filet knife on a counter.  Court documents allege that the agent moved the knife closer to him for officer safety purposes, at which point Garcia asked the agent, “are you scared?” and then Garcia grabbed the knife and began vigorously swinging the knife in the air in front of the agent placing him in fear of bodily injury.  The agent was able to de-escalate the situation and nobody was physically injured.

Assistant U.S Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, who is prosecuting the case, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.  Garcia remains incarcerated pending trial.  

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Updated February 3, 2015