Thaddeus Ponce pleads guilty to federal threat charge

Thaddeus Ponce from Mescalero pleads guilty to federal threat charge in Indian Country

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M (STL.News) Thaddeus Ponce, 58, of Mescalero, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, pleaded guilty in federal court Feb. 5 to influencing federal officials by threat.

In 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.

Ponce is currently in custody pending sentencing.  He faces up to 10 years in pri

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan is prosecuting the case.