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June 29, 2010


(LAREDO, Texas) - Rigoberto Torres-Gomez, a citizen of El Salvador who was illegally residing in Houston, has been sentenced to 55 months in the Bureau of Prisons for assault on a federal officer while in the performance of his official duties by means and use of a dangerous weapon, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Torres, 30, was arrested after he assaulted a Border Patrol agent with his vehicle on IH-35 near Laredo, Texas, during an attempt to transport 10 illegal aliens.

On Feb. 15, 2009, at approximately 10 p.m., Border Patrol (BP) agents observed 10 suspected undocumented aliens running out of the brush and into Torres’ Isuzu Rodeo parked along the access road to the highway. A BP agent, who was tracking the group through the brush, approached the vehicle, attempted to apprehend the subjects and began struggling with one of the undocumented aliens which left the agent in front of the vehicle. The agent drew his service weapon and ordered Torres to turn off the vehicle and for the occupants to exit. that point, Torres accelerated and struck the agent with the vehicle. As the vehicle approached him, the agent tried to move in order to avoid being hit and fired his service weapon, wounding Torres.  The vehicle came to a stop alongside the access road and Torres was treated by BP agents for his injuries at the scene and was later taken to a local hospital. The agent was also taken to the hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

The two-count superseding indictment charging Torres with transportation of an illegal alien for financial gain and assault on a federal officer was returned Sept. 1, 2009. On Feb. 4, 2010, Torres pleaded guilty to count two of the indictment.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sam Sheldon and Michael C. Elliott.



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