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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Two McCurtain County Residents Of Multiple Counts Of Assault And Firearms Offenses In Indian Country

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

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced today that Kevin Ray Ward, age 37, and Anthony Juan Armenta, age 32, both of McCurtain County, were found guilty by a federal jury of one count of Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in Indian Country, two counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Do Bodily Harm in Indian Country, and one count of Use, Carry and Brandish of a Firearm during and in Relation to a Crime of Violence.

The jury trial began with testimony on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, and concluded on Friday, August 19, 2022, with the guilty verdicts.

During the trial, the United States presented evidence that on May 24, 2020, three young men, 17, 19, and 24, returned from fishing on the Mountain Fork River in McCurtain County, when they were confronted by the Defendants.  During the confrontation, the Defendants shot at all three of the victims, hitting one twice in the abdomen.  The Defendants also beat one of the victims with a pipe, a tire tool, and a pistol.

The guilty verdicts were the result of an investigation by the Idabel Police Department, McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma prosecuted the case because the defendants in this case are members of a federally recognized Indian tribe and the crimes occurred in McCurtain County, within the boundaries of the Choctaw Nation Reservation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The Honorable Patrick R. Wyrick, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, sitting in Oklahoma City, presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report. Ward and Armenta were remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending the imposition of sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin D. Traster and Nicole Paladino represented the United States.

Updated April 19, 2023

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice
Firearms Offenses