New Town Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Federal Officer
BISMARCK– U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on April 11, 2013, Vincent Espinoza, 22, New Town, N.D., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of assaulting and resisting a federal officer.
On Nov. 9, 2012, Espinoza was driving a vehicle in New Town and was stopped by a tribal police officer for failing to have his headlights on. At that time, there was an active tribal warrant for Espinoza’s arrest, a fact which Espinoza knew. Upon confirmation of the warrant, the police officer approached Espinoza’s vehicle, held on to his shoulder, and instructed him to exit the vehicle. Espinoza did not exit the vehicle, but instead sped away, causing the officer to be dragged approximately a half city block. The officer fell and struck her head on the roadway. The officer’s injuries required hospitalization.
The charge of assaulting and resisting a federal officer carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs – Fort Berthold Agency and the Three Affiliated Tribes Police Department.
Sentencing for Espinoza has been scheduled for July 19, 2013, in U.S. District Court in Bismarck, N.D., at 9:00 a.m.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Volk is prosecuting the case.