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Press Release

Member of Mescalero Apache Tribe pleads guilty in federal court to assault with a chainsaw in Indian Country

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

           ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –Josea Michael Kazhe, 19, of Mescalero, New Mexico pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico on June 25 to assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country.

           According to Kazhe’s plea agreement, he assaulted the victim on Dec. 24, 2019 in Otero County, New Mexico within the boundaries of the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Kazhe cut the victim’s arm with a chainsaw causing a deep laceration.  The victim needed emergency transportation by helicopter to a hospital in El Paso, for treatment . Kazhe and the victim are both enrolled members of the Mescalero Apache Tribe.

           Kazhe is currently in custody awaiting sentencing.  He faces from 18 to 24 months in prison under the terms of his plea agreement. 

           The FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan is prosecuting the case.

Updated July 1, 2020

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 20-112