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Press Release

Two Mexican Nationals Plead Guilty to Assaulting a Federal Officer

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Albuquerque Field Office, announced that Jose Maria Reyes-Fuentes and his brother Juventino Darinel Reyes-Fuentes pled guilty in federal court to assault upon a federal officer involving physical contact. Jose Maria, 23, and Juventino Darinel, 29, both Mexican nationals, will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to court documents, on Aug. 20, 2023, a Border Patrol Agent from the Santa Teresa Patrol Station was pursuing a group of five to seven migrants using an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). After a brief search, the agent located Juventino Darinel hiding in a bush. The agent pulled Juventino Darniel out of the bush and began to handcuff him. After the agent had placed the first handcuff on, but before the agent had completed securing him, Juventino Darinel began to resist the agent. During the ensuing struggle, Juventino Darinel shouted, at which time Jose Maria rose up approximately 20 yards away and ran towards the agent with a stick. The agent disengaged from Juventino Darinel, drew his duty weapon, and commanded Jose Maria to stop in Spanish. Juventino Darinel then tackled the agent and climbed on top of him. While he was on the ground, Jose Maria made contact with the agent during the altercation. The agent felt Juventino Darinel reach for his weapon and commanded him to stop in Spanish again. The agent then fired his weapon at Juventino Darniel’s leg. The firearm malfunctioned and the agent lost control of the weapon.

Juventino Darniel disengaged from the agent and Jose Maria wrestled the agent’s weapon from the agent before tossing the weapon away. Juventino Darinel and Jose Maria then mounted the agent’s ATV and drove into the dessert.

Other agents tracked the ATV and located it at the bottom of a mesa. Juventino Darinel and Jose Maria were located on top of the mesa by a Border Patrol helicopter. Agents climbed the mesa and located the two men and arrested them.

At sentencing, Juventino Darinel and Jose Maria face up to eight years in prison.

The Las Cruces Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau Investigation investigated this case with assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Ramirez is prosecuting the case.

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Updated January 11, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-15