A former Mills Police officer on Thursday pleaded guilty to assaulting a person three-and-a-half years ago during a hearing in federal court in Casper.

Argel Sierra entered the plea before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl to the single felony count of deprivation of rights while he was acting under the color of law.

Skavdahl read the criminal information accusation that Sierra used a deadly weapon -- a taser -- on the head of a person identified only by their initials, causing them bodily injury.

That violated the victim's right to be free from unreasonable force under the 14th Amendment, Skavdahl said.

Get our free mobile app

The crime could be punished by up to 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not more than three years of supervised probation after his release from custody.

Restitution also may be necessary for the victim, the judge said.

Skavdahl added other terms of the plea agreement included ordering Sierra to resign from any law enforcement agency that may be employing him; forbid him from seeking employment with any city, county, state or federal law enforcement agency; and likewise forbid him seeking employment at a correctional facility or a security business. Sierra, as a convicted felon, also would lose the right to vote, serve on a jury, hold public office, possess firearms, and possibly lose access to some federal benefits.

Before taking the plea, the judge outlined Sierra's rights, including the right to have a grand jury review the government's evidence and determine whether a crime was committed and that it was committed by Sierra.

As part of the plea agreement, Sierra agreed to waive his right to a grand jury and that formalized the criminal information accusation. Details about the case could not be made public until he agreed to abide by the information accusation, which happens when the prosecution works with the defendant to state the case.

During the plea, Public Defender David Weiss read the information document and Sierra agreed to what happened on Aug. 31, 2019, when acting under the color of law as a Mills police officer, he willfully deprived a person of their rights by using a dangerous weapon -- a taser -- on the victim.

Wyoming First Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Heimann added that Sierra also punched the victim a half-dozen times with a closed fist.

Skavdahl said he had two sentencing options, depending on the results of a pre-sentence report and sentencing guidelines.

One would recommend a sentence of 41 months to 51 months.

The other would recommend a sentence of one year to 18 months.

Those results will not be know until the sentencing date, which Skavdahl set for May 16.

Sierra has been free on supervised release and he lives in Texas.

Because he has not violated any terms of his supervised release, Skavdahl agreed that he should continue that on a $10,000 unsecured bond with the provisions that he have no access to firearms and continue to participate in mental health treatment through the Veterans Administration.

Man and Wife Create 'Wyoming 4x4 Recovery Squad' to Assist Vehicles Stuck in the Snow

Have you ever been stuck between a rock and a hard place? Most of us have and, for those times, there is the Wyoming 4x4 Recovery Squad. 

More From K2 Radio