4 charged in 2 cases involving assaults on officers
LAREDO, Texas – A Laredo grand jury has charged three Honduran nationals and a young Guatamalan man for assaulting Border Patrol (BP) agents, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
The first indictment charges Walter Yobani Ordones-Chavez, 32, Jose Manuael Zapata-Suazo, 28, and Kelvin Midencio Benedict-Garcia, 32, with forcible assault on an officer Dec. 31, 2019. Two days prior, Juan Jehovany. 19, was allegedly involved in a similar violent attack.
The New Year’s Eve incident began at approximately 6:45 a.m. after BP agents discovered a group entering the United States from Mexico by illegally crossing the Rio Grande River, according to the charges. The agents then allegedly followed their tracks, leading them to a storage shed located at a private residence.
There, the three illegal aliens violently resisted three separate agents who were attempting to apprehend them, according to the charges. The three Honduran men allegedly struck the agents, attempted to flee and ignored multiple commands to halt before authorities were ultimately able to detain them.
In a separate incident and case, a BP agent was investigating a pickup truck believed to be involved in an alien smuggling attempt Dec. 29, 2019, according to the charges. The agent allegedly heard noises from the truck bed and noticed several people hiding underneath a blanket. They allegedly attempted to flee, during which time the agent was knocked to the ground.
The charges allege Cac-Calel was one of the illegal aliens in the truck and actively resisted and pushed the agent as he attempted to detain him. The agent attempted to handcuff him, but Cac-Calel continued to violently struggle, according to the charges. Cac-Calel allegedly grabbed the agent’s handcuffs and swung them at his face. He also struck his hand as the agent attempted to use his pepper spray, according to the charges.
Three of the agents sustained injuries which required treatment at a medical facility.
If convicted, Ordones-Chavez, and Benedict-Garcia face up to 20 years in prison, while Cac-Calel and Zapata face a possible eight-year-term.
The FBI and Border Patrol conducted both investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Jennifer Day is prosecuting the Cac-Calel case, while AUSA Francisco J. Rodriguez is handling the other matter.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.