Albuquerque Man Charged With Assaulting a Federal Officer
ALBUQUERQUE – James Ronquillo, 19, of Albuquerque, N.M., made his initial appearance in federal court this morning on a criminal complaint charging him with assault on a federal officer. Ronquillo remains in custody pending a detention hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Ronquillo was arrested yesterday afternoon in southwest Albuquerque by the FBI following a undercover drug transaction during which Ronquillo allegedly delivered 207 grams of suspected crack cocaine to an undercover officer in exchange for $7000.
According to the criminal complaint, FBI agents and task force officers conducted surveillance of Ronquillo after the transaction and observed him get into a vehicle and drive down the street. Thereafter, an agent and officer continued surveillance of Ronquillo until they observed Ronquillo driving in the direction of their vehicle. As Ronquillo drove toward them, the agent, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest with law enforcement markings and the word “Police” across the chest, got out of the front passenger seat of the vehicle while the task force officer remained in the driver’s seat. Both the agent and officer observed that Ronquillo allegedly was driving towards them at a high rate of speed and continuing to accelerate. Based on his belief that Ronquillo posed a serious threat of injury or death to the officer and to him, the agent fired his service weapon at Ronquillo immediately before Ronquillo’s vehicle collided with the unmarked vehicle in which the task force officer was seated.
Ronquillo faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted of the charge in the criminal complaint. Allegations in criminal complaints are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI and Albuquerque Police Department officers assigned to the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel A. Hurtado is prosecuting the case.