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Press Release

22-Year-Old Man Receives 21 Months in Prison for Assault on a Federal Officer

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

TUCSON, Ariz. – Hugo Alexander Garcia-Sales, 22, of Guatemala, was sentenced last week by United States District Judge Rosemary Márquez to a term of 21 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Garcia-Sales pleaded guilty on April 11, 2023, to Assault on a Federal Officer with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon and Improper Entry by an Alien.

On October 13, 2022, Garcia-Sales threw five softball-sized rocks at a United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations helicopter Air Interdiction Agent while the helicopter was in the air. Although the rocks failed to hit the helicopter, one rock came within several feet of striking the aircraft. As part of his guilty plea, Garcia-Sales admitted that striking the helicopter with any of the rocks could have caused the aircraft to crash. Additionally, Garcia-Sales admitted he is a Guatemalan national who knowingly entered the United States near Newfield, Arizona, without legal permission to enter or remain in the United States.

CBP’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:    2023-100_Garcia-Sales

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

Updated June 28, 2023

Press Release Number: 2023-100_Garcia-Sales