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February 1, 2011

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(McALLEN, Texas) - Two 19-year-old men pleaded guilty today to carjacking the vehicle of an off-duty Border Patrol agent, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Jorge Luis de la Fuente-Monton and Fernando Antonio Munoz-Martinez, both 19-year-old citizens of Mexico, have pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking and now face up to 15 years in federal prison without parole for the conviction. U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane, who accepted the guilty pleas and convicted both men, has set sentencing for April 21, 2011.

Munoz-Martinez, who was scheduled for jury selection today for a trial on the charges, changes his mind and instead pleaded guilty. Fuente-Monton pleaded guilty on Jan. 28, 2011. 

Had the case gone to trial against either defendant, the United States was prepared to present evidence proving that on July 3, 2010, at approximately 2:35 a.m, McAllen Police Department (MPD) officers responded to the area of 15th Street and Jackson regarding an aggravated robbery. Officers met with the victim, an off-duty Border Patrol agent, who told officers two Hispanic males had assaulted him, brandished a knife and had taken his 2010 Chevrolet pickup truck. Officers issued a bulletin to area police agencies.

Approximately 15 minutes later, at 2:50 a.m., Fuente-Monton and Munoz-Martinez were detained at the Hidalgo Port of Entry by Hidalgo Police Department officers before they could exit the United States with the victim’s 2010 pickup.

Both men have been in federal custody without bond since their July 2010 arrest and will remain in custody pending their sentencing hearings.

The investigation leading to the federal charges was conducted through a joint effort between the FBI and the MPD. Assistant United States Attorneys Juan Villescas and Patricia Rigney are prosecuting the case.

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