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Press Release

Mescalero Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Assault on Federal Officer

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

ALBUQUERQUE – 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 Jeremy Dennis was sentenced to 4 years in prison. Dennis, 43, of Mescalero, and an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, Dennis pled guilty to assault on a federal officer in Indian Country on June 26, 2023.

According to publicly available court documents, on Dec. 25, 2022, shortly after 10 p.m., an officer from the Bureau of Indian Affairs responded to the Dennis’ residence on the Mescalero Apache reservation to conduct a welfare check. Dennis’ family members had called the police because Dennis was smoking methamphetamine in the laundry room of the house. The officer attempted to arrest Dennis’ for child abuse for smoking with a minor in the house, but Dennis grabbed his minor child and would not let go. The officer and a family members tried to release Dennis’s grip on the child but were unable to do so. Finally, the officer deployed pepper spray on Dennis, which caused him to release the child and the family member was able to grab the child and leave the area.

 Dennis then punched and kicked the officer before throwing him to the ground and straddling him. Dennis grabbed the officers bulletproof vest pressed it into the officer’s neck, attempting to strangle him and cut off his air supply. Backup arrived on scene and together the officers were able to subdue Dennis.

Upon his release from prison, Dennis will be subject to 2 years of supervised release.

The Las Cruces Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Assistant United States Attorney Eliot Neal is prosecuting the case.

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Updated March 6, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-94