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Mescalero Apache man pleads guilty to assaulting federal officer

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A 31-year-old Mescalero Apache man pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Las Cruces to assaulting a federal officer.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs arrested Nathan Little, who lives in Ruidoso, on a criminal complaint charging him with assaulting a federal officer in November 2017, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Cruces.

According to the criminal complaint, Little assaulted a BIA officer on Nov. 18, punching him in the face repeatedly while being booked into custody at the Lincoln County Detention Center following a traffic stop that revealed that Little had outstanding warrants.

On July 20, Little pleaded guilty to charges of assault on a federal officer. In entering the guilty plea, Little admitted assaulting the BIA officer on Nov. 18 by punching him in the face.

Little has been in federal custody since his arrest on the criminal complaint and will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Little 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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