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Press Release

22-Year-Old Man Pleads Guilty to Assault on a Federal Officer and Improper Entry

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

TUCSON, Ariz. – Hugo Alexander Garcia-Sales, 22, of Guatemala, pleaded guilty last week to one count of Assault on a Federal Officer With a Deadly Weapon or Dangerous Instrument and one count of Improper Entry by an Alien.

On October 13, 2022, Garcia-Sales assaulted a United States Customs and Border Protection helicopter pilot by throwing 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. As part of his plea agreement, Garcia-Sales admitted that striking the helicopter with any of the rocks could have caused the aircraft to crash. Additionally, Garcia-Sales admitted that he is not an American citizen, and that he entered the country without legal permission to enter or remain in the United States.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 21, 2023, before United States District Judge Rosemary Márquez.

Customs and Border Protection’s United States Border Patrol conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant United States Attorney Nathaniel J. Walters, District of Arizona, Tucson, is handling the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:           CR-22-02445-RM-BGM
RELEASE NUMBER:    2023-054_Garcia-Sales

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Public Affairs
Diana L. Varela
(602) 514-7743

Updated April 18, 2023

Press Release Number: 2023-054_Garcia-Sales