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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Greenvillle Man Guilty Of Impeding Border Patrol

LAREDO, Texas – Joe Adam Vega, 25, has entered a guilty plea to two counts of Impeding agents at the Border Patrol checkpoint just north of Laredo for refusing to comply with instructions, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Vega, of Greenville, pleaded guilty in Laredo federal court yesterday afternoon.

According to court records and statements made at yesterday’s proceeding, Vega arrived at the checkpoint on July 29, 2014. Agents directed Vega to move away from the primary inspection lane and drive to the secondary inspection area after a canine had alerted to the presence of drugs or hidden persons in the vehicle's trunk. He refused.

He was ordered to move several times by the agent and a supervising agent. He continued to refuse. He said he wanted to go on his way without permitting the additional inspections. Agents warned him that he would be arrested for violations of impeding federal officers if he did not move as directed. He again insisted that he wanted to drive away without inspection.

His passenger locked the driver's door and attempted to roll up the car's windows. Agents forcibly removed both occupants from the vehicle and arrested them.

Sentencing has been set for Dec. 3, 2014, at which time he faces up to a year in prison and/or a possible $100,000 fine.

The case was investigated by Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raul Guerra is prosecuting.

Updated April 30, 2015