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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of North Dakota
Mac Schneider, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 2, 2024

Williston Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon

BISMARCK – United States Attorney Mac Schneider announced that on May 2, 2024, Eric Obregon, Jr., age 32, from Williston, North Dakota, appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Daniel M. Traynor and was sentenced to serve 15 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after he pleaded guilty to Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon.

On December 9, 2022, a Williston Police Officer approached the driver of a vehicle that was parked at the intersection of 2nd Avenue West and 42nd Street West in Williston, ND, because the vehicle was partially blocking the intersection.  A second officer arrived on scene and recognized the driver of the vehicle to be Eric Obregon and knew Obregon to have warrants for his arrest. 

When Obregon was asked to step out of the vehicle, he pushed one of the officers and fled on foot.  As the officers pursued Obregon, they repeatedly advised him to get his hands out of his pants. Obregon presented a firearm and discharged the firearm toward the officers while running.  The officers returned fire and Obregon again fired at the officers and continued to flee around the east side of a building.  One of the officers fired and struck Obregon in the leg. After additional officers arrived on scene and Obregon was secured, a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9mm handgun was located on the ground next to Obregon, and one firearm magazine containing two rounds of ammunition was recovered from his pocket. 

The defendant was prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition due to a previous conviction for Prohibited Possession of a Firearm, on or about September 24, 2020, in Williams County (ND) District Court.  The defendant was on state probation for this conviction when he committed the instant offense.

“This is a just sentence for someone who violently put law enforcement lives at risk,” Schneider said. “Thanks to the courage and skill of the Williston Police Department, this individual was neutralized and brought to federal court to face justice. I want to thank our law enforcement partners in Williston as well as the Williams County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in obtaining this result. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively use the felon in possession statute to take violent offenders out of our communities and fairly put them in federal prison.”

“I would like to express sincere appreciation for the relationship between the Williston Police Department, the Williams County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Federal Prosecutors,” said Chief of Police David A. Peterson of the Williston Police Department. “The Williston Police Department believes in the partnerships we have created with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The work completed by the men and women of the WPD, BCI, FBI and other agencies.  Their work brought resolution to the Obregon case, holding the Defendant responsible for his actions. Ultimately, I am extremely thankful our Officers were able to go home to their families on the night in question and have the ability to continue to serve the Williston Community.”

"Obregon's choice to fire upon law enforcement officers was an egregious assault on their lives," said Special Agent in Charge Alvin M. Winston Sr. of FBI Minneapolis. "With unwavering commitment, we support our partners, holding individuals like Obregon accountable for their actions, and upholding the rule of law."

This case was investigated by the Williston Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, with Assistant United States Attorney David Hagler assigned to the case.



Terry W. Van Horn  701-297-7400

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