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April 8, 2011


(LAREDO, Texas) – An El Salvadorian national illegally in the United States has been sentenced to prison for assaulting a Border Patrol (BP) agent, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Miguel Garcia Rodriguez, whose real name is Miguel Angel Rodriguez-Zuñiga, 32, of El Salvador, was sentenced on Thursday, April 7, 2010, to 57 months in federal prison by visiting Senior U.S. District Judge Tom Stagg to 57 months in federal prison for assaulting a United States Border Patrol agent on April 25, 2010. This sentence has been ordered to be served concurrently with a 24-month sentence handed down for an illegally re-entering the United States conviction. Rodriguez-Zuñiga was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to both offenses onJune 22, 2010.
Both convictions arise from an investigation which established that on April 25, 2010, at about noon, a BP agent encountered numerous undocumented aliens, Rodriguez-Zuñiga among them, in the brush near an Encinal, Texas, ranch, huddling under a tree. The agent offered the undocumented aliens water. When the agent approached Rodriguez-Zuñiga to conduct an immigration inspection, he stood up, threw a water bottle at the agent, assumed a fighting stance and told the agent “you are not going to arrest me.” Rodriguez-Zuñiga ran but was stopped by the agent. After both fell to the ground, Rodriguez-Zuñiga attempted unsuccessfully to unholster the agent’s pistol. However, he was able to grab the agent’s collapsable baton. While holding the unextended baton in one hand, Rodriguez- Zuñiga struck the agent repeatedly about his face and head with his fists. Eventually, the agent pushed Rodriguez-Zuñiga away then held him to the ground until other agents arrived to pry the baton from the defendant’s hand and assist in arresting him. The agent was treated for injuries to his face, head and hands.

The defendant has been in federal custody since his April 2010 arrest and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future to serve out his sentence. Rodriguez- Zuñiga is subject to deportation upon completing his prison term.

The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the FBI and Customs and Border Protection. Assistant United States Attorney Homero Ramirez prosecuted the case.

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