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Press Release

Mescalero Man Sentenced for 2022 Assault

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

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal judge has handed down a 9-year prison sentence to a Mescalero man after he pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury in a case stemming from a brutal attack on the Mescalero Apache reservation in 2022. Upon his release from prison, Dennett Jerome Chee, 37, a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, will be subject to three years of supervised release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

According to publicly available court records, on May 20, 2022, John Doe was at a friend’s house on the Mescalero Apache reservation. Chee and another man arrived at the house later, and upon entering, they attacked John Doe, repeatedly striking him in the face and back. At some point during the assault, John Doe lost consciousness, and the attack ceased.

Upon regaining consciousness, John Doe walked back home, where his mother then called the police. He was taken via ambulance to the Lincoln County Medical Center and later transferred to the University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, due to significant injuries. Doe remained hospitalized for nearly a week, recovering from injuries that included a bilateral orbital wall fracture, hemorrhaging in the left maxillary sinus and left ethmoid air cells, and a compression fracture of the T12 vertebrae.

Following the assault, police encountered Chee and the other man walking together along the road away from the residence. Chee was carrying a wooden object resembling a baseball bat. Upon making contact, the officer chased Chee, eventually apprehending him and taking him into custody.

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, made the announcement today.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office and the Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Eliot Neal is prosecuted the case.

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Updated March 26, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-116