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Press Release

Convicted Felon Is Sentenced To Prison For Firearms Offense, Assaulting Federal Officers, And Assault With Intent To Commit Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
The Defendant Shot at Law Enforcement During Standoff that Lasted over 5 ½ Hours

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Martin Medina, 32, an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison and three years of supervised release for a firearms offense, assaulting federal officers, and assault with intent to commit murder, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the sentence imposed for the weapons and assault convictions, Medina was ordered to serve an additional 30 months in prison for violating the terms of his federal supervised release, for a total sentence of more than 16 years.

Medina was convicted of federal charges in 2012 for abusive sexual contact and related offenses. Medina was sentenced to a term of imprisonment followed by a lifetime of supervised release. As a convicted felon, Medina was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Also, among the conditions of Medina’s supervision were warrantless searches of his person and his residence.

According to court documents and court proceedings, on June 14, 2022, at approximately 1:10 p.m., federal probation officers and a deputy with the Cherokee Indian Police Department (CIPD) arrived at Medina’s residence, located in Swain County within the Qualla Boundary, to conduct a warrantless search. Medina met the law enforcement officers outside, then quickly ran inside his residence. A federal probation officer began to negotiate with Medina to come outside, but Medina did not comply. Officers with Tribal Alcohol Law Enforcement, Tribal Natural Resources Enforcement, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs arrived to assist. Law enforcement continued to negotiate with Medina, and over the course of the negotiations, law enforcement observed shell casings in the driveway. This led officers to believe that Medina was armed even though he was prohibited from possessing firearms.

According to court records, a SWAT team was called to the scene. Law enforcement reported potential gunfire coming from inside the residence. Medina continued to refuse to surrender, even after law enforcement deployed non-lethal gas into the residence. After deploying more gas into the home, law enforcement was again met with gunfire. Medina continued to fire at law enforcement, causing one of the officers to sustain a non-fatal injury. Eventually, Medina agreed to surrender, and he was taken into custody at 5:51 p.m.

Court records show that following Medina’s arrest, officers executed a search warrant at Medina’s residence, seizing five firearms, including three shotguns, assorted ammunition, extended magazines loaded to capacity for all weapons, two ballistic vests, a ballistic helmet, night vision goggles, a gas mask, various fixed-blade knives, suspected marijuana, and several thousand dollars in cash.

Medina remains in federal custody awaiting transfer to the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a facility.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Probation Office, the Cherokee Indian Police Department, Tribal Alcohol Law Enforcement, Tribal Natural Resources Enforcement, the Office of the Tribal Prosecutor, and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex M. Scott of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.



Updated April 12, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime