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Press Release

Mescalero man charged with assault in Indian Country

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced that Dennett Jerome Chee was arraigned on Jan. 20 on an indictment charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country. Chee, 36, of Mescalero, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, will remain in custody pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

A federal grand jury indicted Chee on Jan. 10. According to the indictment and other court records, in May of 2022, Chee allegedly assaulted a victim, identified as John Doe, in Otero County, New Mexico, on the Mescalero Apache reservation. The assault resulted in serious bodily injury to John Doe.

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Chee faces up to 10 years in prison.

The FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Eliot Neal is prosecuting the case.

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Updated January 27, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Release Number: 23-13