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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wakpala Man Pleads Guilty To Assaulting A Federal Officer

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Juan A. Valadez, Jr., age 20, of Wakpala, South Dakota, appeared before U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann on August 23, 2013, and pled guilty to a Superseding Information that charged him with Assaulting, Resisting and Impeding a Federal Officer. 

The maximum penalty upon conviction is 8 years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both; 3 years of supervised release; and an additional 2 years of supervised release upon revocation.  Restitution and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund may also be ordered. 

The charge stems from an incident wherein a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officer received a call regarding a high speed pursuit which had originated in Mobridge, South Dakota, and was heading onto the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation.  The officer located the vehicle and joined in the pursuit at speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour.  The Defendant eventually turned onto a field and was pursued by the BIA officer, where the the Defendant’s car and the officer’s car came into physical contact with one another.

The investigation was being conducted by the BIA Standing Rock Agency.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley is prosecuting the case. 

Valadez was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing which has been set for November 18, 2013.

Updated June 22, 2015