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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sault Ste Marie Man Sentenced To 168 Months For Assaulting Federal Officers With A Knife

          MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr., announced today that Eric Michael Verwiebe, 37, of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 168 months’ imprisonment for Assault on a Federal Officer with a Dangerous Weapon. He was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following incarceration. While imposing sentence, Hon. Paul L. Maloney stated that assaulting federal law enforcement is a serious offense and Verwiebe’s sentence was needed not only to deter the defendant from future criminal conduct, but also to deter others who may consider assaulting law enforcement.

          On July 27, 2016, Verwiebe pled guilty to assaulting two Bay Mills Tribal Officers who encountered him while on patrol in August of 2015. The officers received a notice that Verwiebe had committed an assault earlier in the day and was now armed with a knife. The officers found Verwiebe walking in the middle of the road. When the officers got out of their patrol vehicle and approached Verwiebe, he pulled a large kitchen knife, with a blade of approximately seven inches long, from the pocket of his sweatshirt. He then raised the knife and pointed it towards the officers. Officers ordered Verwiebe to put the knife down. Verwiebe responded by yelling obscenities, threatening to kill the officers, and raising the knife over his head (blade pointing towards officers) as he walked towards officers. When Verwiebe was approximately 7-10 feet from the officers, one of the officers deployed his Taser hitting Verwiebe in the chest. Verwiebe dropped the knife and fell to the ground. As officers approached, Verwiebe stood up, took a fighting stance, and attempted to punch the officers. Verwiebe continued to resist officers until he was handcuffed and secured in the patrol vehicle.

          The Bay Mills Tribal Police and the FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah N. Bobee prosecuted the case.

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Updated November 10, 2016