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Press Release

Defendant Who Assaulted Officer at San Ysidro Port of Entry Sentenced to 68 Months in Prison

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

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Paul E. Benjamin (619) 546-7579 and Colin M. McDonald (619) 546-9144


SAN DIEGO – Rene Robert Ruiz was sentenced in federal court to 68 months in prison for assaulting a Customs and Border Protection Officer at the San Ysidro Port of Entry when attempting to enter the United States from Mexico.

According to court records and trial testimony, on May 17, 2021, Ruiz walked towards the limit line separating the United States and Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. He was irate, yelling “f*** you!” at an officer near the line. As he reached the front of the line, Ruiz continued to yell at officers and made no effort to show documents permitting him to enter the United States. An officer told Ruiz he could not enter until he calmed down.

Ruiz responded, “F*** you, I’m a U.S. citizen, I’m coming in,” and attempted to push past the officer into the United States. Concerned for his safety, the officer pushed Ruiz back beyond the limit line. Immediately, Ruiz came back at the officer and punched him in the head with a closed fist. Ruiz then repeatedly struck the officer in the head as the officer attempted to restrain him. The officer suffered a concussion and other injuries because of Ruiz’s assaultive conduct. On October 13, 2021, following a two-day trial, a jury convicted Ruiz of two counts of assault on a federal officer.

At the sentencing hearing yesterday, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel observed that Ruiz attacked an officer who was simply doing his job. Judge Curiel further remarked that Ruiz’s assaultive conduct was the culmination of a thirty-year history of violence and disregard for law enforcement, including his self-admitted leadership role in a violent motorcycle gang. A restitution hearing to determine the financial penalty Ruiz owes to the officer is scheduled for August 29, 2022.

“This defendant viciously attacked a customs officer completing routine duties at the port of entry,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Law enforcement officers—such as the victim here—perform vital services for us all and must be allowed to do their jobs without the risk of harm. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to vigorously prosecute those who place their safety and security at risk.” Grossman commended the excellent work of the prosecution team as well as officers and agents from Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations.

“Violent acts like these against our officers will not be tolerated and we are thankful to the San Diego USAO for ensuring justice was served,” said Anne Maricich, acting Director of Field Operations for the San Diego Field Office.

“This case unfortunately serves as yet another example of the dangers encountered by agents and officers along the border,” said HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz. “This sentence should serve as a reminder that assaults on the officers who protect our borders will not be tolerated.”

DEFENDANT                                   Case Number 21-cr-02911-GPC                           

Rene Robert Ruiz                               Age: 55                       Residence: San Diego, California


8 U.S.C. § 111(a)(1) – Assault on a Federal Officer

Maximum penalty: Five years in prison; $250,000 fine.

8 U.S.C. § 111(a)(1) and (b)  – Assault on a Federal Officer Inflicting Bodily Injury

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison; $250,000 fine.


Homeland Security Investigations

Customs and Border Protection

Updated August 9, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: CAS22-0809-Ruiz