ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Thaddeus Ponce, 58, of Mescalero, New Mexico, an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, was sentenced in federal court on April 15 to 18 months in prison for influencing federal officials by threat.
Ponce pleaded guilty to this offense on Feb. 5, 2021. According to the plea agreement, Ponce admitted to calling the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) emergency dispatch multiple times from Aug. 10, 2019, to Oct. 7, 2019, in Otero County, New Mexico. Ponce threatened to kill federal dispatch operators and their families during numerous recorded calls. The BIA dispatch center is located on the Mescalero Reservation.
Upon his release from prison, Ponce will be subject to three years of supervised released.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan is prosecuting the case.