By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Riverton man has been sentenced to a little more than a year in prison after being convicted of assaulting a U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs officer earlier this year.
Leo Michael Duran, 26, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised released on his conviction on a charge of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer. The sentenced was imposed this week in U.S. District Court.
Duran pleaded guilty to the charge in May.
According to court information, during the early morning of Jan. 23, security staff at the Wind River Hotel and Casino were in the process of escorting Duran from the premises and a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer arrived to assist.
While the officer was placing handcuffs on him, Duran turned on him and began throwing punches and causing himself and the officer to fall to the ground, according to reports
Duran got up and ran away, heading down the highway toward Riverton.
The officer made it back to his patrol vehicle and pursued Duran, completing the arrest with the assistance of Fremont County Sheriff deputies.
“We are extremely proud of BIA Law Enforcement and recognize the dangers they face while protecting the citizens of the Wind River Reservation,” said Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray. “Duran’s actions show his complete disregard for law enforcement and a lack of good decision making. This type of assault is not something we take lightly, and such cases will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
This crime was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance from Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.
“FBI Denver thanks our partners at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. Mr. Duran’s violent response to contact from a federal law enforcement officer jeopardized the officer’s safety and that of the community they serve,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. “The FBI stands by our law enforcement partners against violent criminals who pose a threat to the community.”