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Press Release

Foreign National Sentenced To Federal Prison For Illegally Re-Entering The United States And For Assaulting Federal Officers During Arrest

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

Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Julian Salazar-Zavala (32, Jacksonville) to 18 months in federal prison for forcibly assaulting and resisting immigration officers during his arrest and being unlawfully present in the United States after having been previously deported.

Salazar-Zavala had pleaded guilty on February 4, 2021.

According to court documents and testimony, Salazar­ Zavala was the subject of an administrative arrest operation after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) learned that he was issued a traffic citation in Jacksonville after he had been deported from the United States in 2018. On the morning of September 22, 2020, officers from ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) followed Salazar-Zavala as he drove from his home to a gas station in Jacksonville, where he stopped at a gas pump. After Salazar-Zavala got out of his vehicle, the ERO officers approached him and told him that he was being placed under arrest for immigration violations and instructed Salazar-Zavala to place his hands on the gas pump so that they could detain him. After initially complying, Salazar-Zavala removed his hands from the pump, pushed the officers out of the way—knocking one into a parked car—and fled on foot. The officers pursued Salazar-Zavala into an adjacent parking lot, then followed him as he doubled back and entered the convenience store at the gas station.

While inside the convenience store, Salazar-Zavala continued to resist arrest, struggling with the officers, and urging bystanders to fight the officers and film them.  The officers eventually restrained Salazar-Zavala and placed him under arrest. Following his arrest, the officers confirmed that Salazar-Zavala was a citizen of Mexico who had been previously deported on December 27, 2018, and was unlawfully present in the United States.

“This criminal assaulted federal law enforcement officers who were working to keep our communities safe,” said Miami ERO Field Office Director Michael Meade. “He will now learn that lesson behind bars.”

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier.

Updated May 21, 2021

Violent Crime