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Press Release

Mescalero man sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison for firearms violation

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, announced that Wallace Reid Rice was sentenced on June 23 to three years and 10 months in prison. Rice, 29, of Mescalero, New Mexico, and a citizen of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, pleaded guilty on Nov. 18, 2021, to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to the plea agreement and other court records, on July 25, 2021, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Police responded to a report of domestic violence at Rice’s residence on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. An investigation revealed that Rice was in possession of a 9mm handgun and ammunition. At the time, Rice had been convicted in federal court of possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine and had been convicted in tribal court of domestic violence. As a previously convicted felon and a person previously convicted of domestic violence, Rice cannot legally possess firearms or ammunition.

 Upon his release from prison, Rice will be subject to three years of supervised release.

The Mescalero Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated this case with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Matilda McCarthy Villalobos prosecuted the case.

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Updated June 27, 2022

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 22-144