NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The man accused of shooting a Farmington police officer has agreed to plead guilty to a federal gun charge.

Police said Elias Buck shot and wounded Officer Joseph Barreto in January before taking off. The shooting happened two months after he broke out of the La Plata County Jail.

Buck was arrested in Arizona a week later. The state charges against Buck were dismissed. This was so federal prosecutors could pursue a felon in possession of a gun charge.

A plea agreement filed Thursday said Buck faces a life sentence on the federal charge, but the documents suggested he may be entitled to less time because of his willingness to accept responsibility.

The 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said it does plan to refile Buck’s sentence once he is sentenced federally.


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The Farmington Police Department declined to comment on the plea deal, saying they are in a “ticklish position” on the case at the moment.