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Press Release

Kenyan Man Sentenced to Three Years in Federal Prison for Assaulting Federal Immigration Officers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY – Yesterday, ERICK GACHUHI WANJIKU, 42, of Kenya, was sentenced to serve 36 months in federal prison for assaulting federal officers, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.

On June 6, 2023, a federal grand jury returned a two-count Indictment against Wanjiku, charging him with two counts of assault on two different federal immigration officers.

In August 2023, Wanjiku was tried by a federal jury and found guilty on both counts. Evidence presented at trial indicated that on May 8, 2023, Wanjiku was moved from an Oklahoma Correctional Facility to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Removal Operations facility in Oklahoma City to be processed for immigration proceedings. Prior to being fingerprinted, Wanjiku kicked one deportation officer near his left knee and bit a second deportation officer before he was restrained and placed back in a cell.  Court documents describe the bite marks as “clearly visible and bloody.” 

“Federal officers have the right to work without fear of assault or intimidation,” said United States Attorney Robert J. Troester. “We stand firmly behind our law enforcement partners and will hold accountable those who harm federal officers in the performance of their duty.”

“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line daily.” said Special Agent in Charge Lester R. Hayes Jr., Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas. “This sentence reaffirms HSI’s role in prosecuting those who commit crimes against the men and women who dedicate themselves to enforcing the law.”

At the sentencing hearing yesterday, U.S. District Judge David L. Russell sentenced Wanjiku to serve 36 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. In announcing the sentence, Judge Russell noted Wanjiku’s history of violence and his lack of acceptance of responsibility in the case, as well as the need to protect the public and to impose just punishment for his conduct. Upon his release from prison, Wanjiku will be placed in ICE custody while he undergoes immigration proceedings.

This case is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Joynes and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaleigh Blackwell prosecuted the case.

Reference is made to public filings for additional information.

Updated January 18, 2024