Skip to main content
Press Release

22-Year-Old Man Charged for Assaulting a Customs and Border Protection Helicopter Pilot

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. –On October 13, 2022, United States Border Patrol (USBP) agents arrested Hugo Alexander Garcia-Sales, 22, of Guatemala, for Assault on a Federal Officer With a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon and Improper Entry by an Alien.

The complaint alleges that on October 13, 2022, USBP agents responded to a remote area near Henrick’s Well after receiving reports of two suspected undocumented noncitizens. When agents arrived on the scene, the individuals ran, and a USBP helicopter was called in to assist in the search. While the pilot hovered above the ground, Garcia-Sales threw five softball-sized rocks at the helicopter. Although Garcia-Sales failed to hit the helicopter, one rock came within several feet of striking the aircraft, creating a severe risk of injury or death to the victim pilot. USBP agents arrested Garcia-Sales and confirmed he was a non-U.S. citizen without legal permission to enter or remain in the United States. The other individual evaded apprehension.

Assault on a Federal Officer carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Improper Entry by an Alien carries a maximum penalty of six months in federal prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

A complaint is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The United States Border Patrol conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant United States Attorney Nathaniel Walters, District of Arizona, Tucson, is handling the prosecution.


CASE NUMBER:            MJ-22-07776-BGM
RELEASE NUMBER:    2022-191_Garcia-Sales


# # #


For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit

Follow the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, on Twitter @USAO_AZ for the latest news.

Updated October 26, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 2022-191_Garcia-Sales