Illegal Alien Pleads Guilty to Firearm Possession and False Statement Charges in Connection with Shooting of Two-Year-Old Cousin
Orlando, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that Luis Javier Farias-Mendoza (20, Ocoee) entered guilty pleas in federal court today to charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition by an illegal alien and making a false statement to a federal agency. Farias-Mendoza faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for the firearm charge and a maximum of 5 years for making a false statement. Farias-Mendoza, a Mexican citizen, will be deported from the United States following his prison term. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Ocoee police officers contacted Farias-Mendoza at Health Central Hospital on December 26, 2011, when hospital personnel reported that a two-year-old child had been admitted with a gunshot wound to the head. After being advised of his constitutional rights, Farias-Mendoza admitted that he had been trying to put away his loaded .22 caliber pistol when it discharged through the wall of his bedroom. After hearing yelling in the adjacent bedroom, Farias-Mendoza had set the pistol down and discovered that his two-year-old cousin had been shot in the head. The child later died from the injury. Authorities subsequently recovered the loaded .22 caliber pistol that had been in the home.
Upon further questioning, Farias-Mendoza admitted that he had purchased the firearm a year earlier and had been shooting it as recently as Christmas Eve from a moving vehicle on local roadways. He acknowledged that he is a Mexican citizen illegally in the United States - a fact confirmed by federal immigration agents. As an illegal alien, Farias-Mendoza is prohibited from possessing either firearms or ammunition under federal law. Authorities subsequently discovered that Farias-Mendoza had made false statements and presented fraudulent identity documents in order to obtain access to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Ocoee Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.