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Jan. 6, 2011


(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – An immigration center detainee has been convicted of assaulting and obstructing a federal agent after pleading guilty in federal court yesterday, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

Kemar Ramon James, 22, a Jamaican citizen who formerly had legal permanent resident status in the United States, pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting and obstructing a federal agent before United States District Judge Hilda G. Tagle following a pretrial hearing yesterday. James faces a maximum of eight years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. 

In July 2010, James was in administrative custody at the Port Isabel Detention Center pending removal proceedings pending before an immigration court. On July 22, 2010, Detention Center guards and agents were conducting a routine dorm search. During this search, another detainee refused to follow agents’ directions. When guards and agents were attempting to escort that detainee out of the area, James approached the agents and stated that the other detainee was not going to go anywhere. One of the agents shifted his attention to James in an attempt to cease James’ interference with the situation involving the other detainee. As the agent attempted to make James step away from the other agents and the other detainee, James swung and punched the agent in the face once, cutting the agent’s face. As other agents came to the injured agent’s assistance to restrain James, James resisted.  The injured agent’s injury required two stitches.   

Judge Tagle has set James’ sentencing for April 5, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. James has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals without bond since being arrested on a warrant after indictment and will remain in custody pending his sentencing. 

This case was investigated by DHS’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph T. Leonard.

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