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Mescalero Apache man pleads guilty to assaulting federal officer

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A 23-year-old Mescalero man pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Cruces on Wednesday to assaulting a federal officer.

Ellis Arkie Sago is an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Nation in Lincoln and Otero counties.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs arrested Sago on February 2018, on a criminal complaint charging him with assaulting a federal officer. According to the criminal complaint, Sago was arrested on tribal charges after he assaulted a BIA officer. Sago committed the assault on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in Otero County on Sept. 9, 2017, by kicking the officer in the legs while the officer was arresting Sago, according to a released statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

Sago subsequently was indicted on April 18 and was charged with assaulting a federal officer in Otero County on Sept. 9, 2017.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, Sago pleaded guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Sept. 9, 2017, he assaulted a BIA officer by kicking the officer in the legs. At sentencing, Sago faces a maximum penalty of eight years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

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This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

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