Alien Smuggler Sentenced for Blowing Through Checkpoint at High Speed, Seriously Injuring Border Patrol Agent
Assistant U. S. Attorney Colin McDonald (619) 546-9144
SAN DIEGO – Jorge Garcia-Osornio was sentenced in federal court today to 30 months in prison for blasting through a Border Patrol checkpoint in Pine Valley, severely injuring a checkpoint inspection agent, and taking Border Patrol on a high-speed chase reaching speeds of at least 100 miles per hour.
Garcia, who was illegally present in the U.S. and had two illegal immigrants hiding on the floor of his vehicle, approached the checkpoint – about 45 miles east of downtown San Diego - at approximately 10:26 a.m. on November 14, 2017. As he neared the line of cars waiting for inspection, he made an illegal U-turn and started driving the wrong way on the freeway.
A Border Patrol agent yelled, “Turn around! Turn around!” Another agent activated his emergency lights and siren and began following the defendant. Garcia then made another U-turn on the freeway and headed back toward the checkpoint. The agent tried to stop Garcia’s vehicle by positioning the agency vehicle in the center of both freeway lanes, but Garcia squeezed past by driving onto the shoulder of the freeway.
He then sped toward the checkpoint. A number of cars were in the checkpoint queue. Garcia evaded them by driving into a coned-off freeway lane. He then accelerated to – and through – the checkpoint. In the process, he barely missed crashing into a parked agency car; barely missed crashing into a parked civilian car; and barely missed running over Border Patrol Agent M. Medina, the primary inspection agent.
But Garcia did not miss a steel-framed stop sign sitting in the middle of the freeway lanes; he barreled through it, causing a collision best described as an “explosion.” Debris from the collision struck Agent Medina, who likened the blow to being “hit with a baseball bat.” His injuries were similarly severe: Vomiting, throbbing headache, blurry vision, a gash on his face, shaking uncontrollably, and loud ringing in his ears, among other things. Agent Medina was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and has not returned to work since.
After crashing through the checkpoint, Garcia led Border Patrol on a high-speed chase, reaching speeds of at least 100 mph. After about 3.5 miles, Garcia exited the freeway, ran a stop sign and crashed into a hillside. One of the illegal immigrants on the floor of Garcia’s car said he “feared for his life.”
Garcia then ran away and agents found him hiding in a nearby carport with the crashed car’s key fob in his pocket.
As part of his plea, Garcia admitted driving the wrong way on the freeway, reaching at least 100 mph when fleeing from the checkpoint, using a dangerous weapon in the commission of the offense, and seriously injuring Agent Medina, among other things.
Garcia expected to earn between $1,400 and $2,000 for transporting the two illegal immigrants.
“This defendant had no regard for the safety of his passengers, other drivers on the freeway or agents at the checkpoint,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “It’s a miracle no one died in this incident. Smugglers operate in a world where immigrants are just dollar signs, not people.”
“In committing his criminal act, Garcia not only placed the lives of those he smuggled in grave danger, but seriously injured a Border Patrol agent in the process,” Chief Patrol Agent Rodney S. Scott. “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the United States Attorney’s office for their efforts in prosecuting this case. Let this sentencing serve as a reminder that there will be severe consequences for those that wish to do our country harm.”
DEFENDANT Case Number 17cr4272-JM
Jorge Garcia-Osornio Age: 28 Michoacán, Mexico
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Transporting Certain Aliens and Aiding and Abetting – Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii), (v)(II), and (a)(1)(B)(i)
Maximum penalty: 10 years’ imprisonment and $250,000 fine
U.S. Border Patrol