Mission Man Sentenced For Transporting Illegal Aliens During High-Speed Chase That Resulted in Crash in Homeowner's Backyard
|Aug, 18, 2011|
McALLEN, Texas - Guillermo Rocha, a 19-year-old Mission, Texas, resident has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for his role in driving four illegal aliens in a car while leading police on a multi-city high-speed chase that ended with the car crashing into a structure in a homeowner's backyard, U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno announced today.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane handed down the prison term today and further ordered Rocha to pay restitution to the homeowner for the damage to the property. Judge Crane told Rocha that had Rocha not decided to flee from the police when they tried to initiate a traffic stop, his sentence could have been perhaps been less. Following release from prison, Rocha has also been ordered to serve a two-year-term of supervised release.
Rocha pleaded guilty June 8, 2011, to placing the lives of three illegal aliens and two police officers in jeopardy while transporting an illegal alien. According to allegations in the complaint as well as the proffered facts entered into the court's record and admitted by Rocha at his guilty plea, Rocha was driving a 1999 silver Mercury Mystique on May 17, 2011, carrying four undocumented aliens as passengers. When officers of the La Grulla Police Department attempted to stop Rocha because the vehicle was missing a front license plate, Rocha refused to stop and led La Grulla and Sullivan City police officers on a high-speed car chase through rush-hour traffic (around 5:30 p.m.) through streets within city limits at speeds exceeding 65 miles-per-hour. Rocha rammed a police car, causing damage to that vehicle, and came close to crashing into a school bus during the chase, all the while ignoring his passengers' fearful pleas to stop. Rocha was finally arrested after he drove into a residential area, through the front and back yards of a house and came to an abrupt stop in the back yard after striking a deck there.
Rocha has been in federal custody without bond since his arrest on May 17, 2011, where he will remain pending transfer to the Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
The investigation leading to the federal charges was conducted by the U.S. Border Patrol with the assistance of the La Grulla and Sullivan City Police Departments and the Texas Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Sully is prosecuting the case.