A west Texas man who assaulted two Deputy U.S. Marshals immediately after being sentenced to 30 years in prison for another crime was sentenced today to an additional five years for the attack, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.
Damien Dre Gonzales, 28, was charged in July 2021 with assaulting a federal officer. He pleaded guilty in May 2022 and was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix to five years in federal prison, to be served consecutive to his sentence in the other case.
“This case reminds us of the challenges law enforcement agents and officers face on a daily basis. We are immensely grateful to these officers for acting swiftly to keep the courtroom safe,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham.
According to court documents, on June 10, 2021 Mr. Gonzalez was sentenced to 365 months in federal prison for kidnapping a 9-year-old girl from a birthday part in Levelland, Texas.
Immediately after the sentencing hearing had concluded, Mr. Gonzales grabbed the microphone from the defendant’s podium and swung it violently at a Deputy U.S. Marshal, who grabbed him by the arm in an attempt to control his outburst.
Another Deputy Marshal rushed forward to help, but Mr. Gonzales changed toward him and rammed him into a wooden bench.
With the help of a courtroom security officer, an FBI task force officer, and three DEA agents who happened to be present, the Marshals were able to subdue the defendant. Throughout, Mr. Gonzales hurled insults, curses, and threats at the officers and agents.
In recorded jailhouse calls following the incident, Mr. Gonzales bragged about assaulting the Marshals, stating that he “threw” and “ran at” both of them.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Redd prosecuted the assault case; Assistant U.S. Attorney Callie Woolam prosecuted the kidnapping case.