Man sentenced to prison for assaulting federal officers with knife

MARQUETTE — A Sault Ste. Marie man was sentenced in U.S. District Court to over a decade in prison for assaulting Federal officers with a knife.

According to a release from the office of U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr., Eric Michael Verwiebe, 37, was given 168 months in prison in addition to three years of supervised release following his incarceration. Verwiebe pleaded guilty in late July to the charge of assault on a Federal Officer with a dangerous weapon.

The charge stems from an incident in August of 2015 in which Verwiebe assaulted two Bay Mills Tribal Officers who encountered him while on patrol. The officers received notice that Verweibe had committed an assault earlier in the day and was now armed with a knife. They found him walking in the middle of the road, and when they got out of their patrol car and approached Verweibe, he pulled out a large kitchen knife with a seven inch blade. Verwiebe then raised the knife and pointed it towards the officers, shouting obscenities and threatening to kill them when they ordered him to put it down. He approached officers with the knife over his head, but was stopped when one of the officers used a taser on him.

Despite being tased, Verwiebe continued to resist officers, attempting to punch them until he was handcuffed and secured in the patrol vehicle. When imposing Verwiebe’s sentence, Federal Judge Paul L. Mahoney stated that assaulting federal law enforcement is a serious offense, and the sentence was needed not only to deter Verwiebe from future criminal conduct, but also to deter others who might consider similar activity.

The Bay Mills Tribal Police and the FBI investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah N. Bobbee.