Department of Justice Logo and United States Attorney's Office Header
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Feb. 4, 2010

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

EL SALVADORAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ASSAULTING BORDER PATROL AGENT

(LAREDO, Texas) - Rigoberto Torres-Gomez, a native of El Salvador illegally in the United States, has pleaded guilty to assaulting a Border Patrol (BP) agent, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Torres-Gomez, 29, entered his guilty plea today before United States District Court Judge Micaela Alvarez.

On Feb. 15, 2009, two BP agents were on foot inside the Triple S Ranch near mile-marker 35, north of Laredo searching for illegal aliens. The agents then received information that a group of illegal aliens were heading east toward IH-35. Both agents jumped the fence and began running east toward IH-35 to apprehend the aliens.
           
One agent saw several illegal aliens loading into an Isuzu parked on the shoulder of IH-35. When the agent attempted to arrest one of the illegal aliens, the alien resisted. When the agent sought to restrain the alien, the alien pushed the agent in front of the Isuzu. The agent drew his service weapon and ordered Torres-Gomez, the driver of the Isuzu, to turn off the engine to no avail.  At today’s hearing, Torres-Gomes admitted he accelerated the vehicle and struck the BP agent on the wrist and left side of his body. At that time, the agent fired one shot and struck Torres-Gomez in the chest. Torres-Gomez continued driving the Isuzu for approximately 400 yards. The BP agent was treated for his injuries and released from Doctor’s Hospital. Torres-Gomez was hospitalized for treatment of his chest wound and later released.

The conviction for assaulting a federal agent carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. After the guilty plea, Judge Alvarez ordered that a Pre-Sentence Investigation report be prepared, after which Torres-Gomes will be sentenced April 29, 2010.

The investigation leading to the assault on a federal agent charge was conducted by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Sheldon and Michael Elliott.

    

# # #