Shiprock man sentenced in officer assault case

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON — A Shiprock man was sentenced to nearly three years in prison today in federal court in Albuquerque for allegedly assaulting a federal police officer, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Abner Joe, 55, was arrested in August 2016 after allegedly spitting on a police officer and threatening her with a hammer and a wooden board.

According to the criminal complaint, Joe was hiding in a tarp-covered trailer on Aug. 4, 2016, when Navajo Nation police officers responded to a disturbance at a Shiprock residence. 

Joe allegedly threatened to shoot the officers before he threw a hammer at them, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint states Joe pulled stun gun probes out of his abdomen after officers attempted to subdue him. He then allegedly grabbed a wooden board and threatened to hit officers.

After being apprehended, Joe allegedly spat on a female officer who was commissioned as a special federal officer by the Bureau of Indian Affair's Office of Justice Services.

He was indicted on Aug. 23, 2016 and charged with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon and assault involving physical contact, according to the press release.

Joe pleaded guilty on July 12 to assaulting a federal officer. He was sentenced today to two years and nine months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.