Cuban national charged with ramming FBI security gate
HOUSTON – A 38-year-old Cuban citizen who resided in the Houston area is set to appear in federal court on charges of willfully injuring or committing any depredation exceeding $1000 against U.S. property, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Authorities took Nestor Mariano Vidal Batista into custody after allegedly damaging the FBI office in Houston. He is set to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy at 2 p.m. today.
The criminal complaint alleges that on June 23, Batista stole a Dodge Ram 2500 pick-up truck shortly before attempting to lodge an in-person complaint at the FBI office in Houston. Upon his arrival, security alleged referred him to local authorities.
According to the charges, Batista then re-entered the truck, circled the area and tried to force entry. He allegedly sped toward, and crashed the truck into, the front security gates of the FBI building. The complaint alleges, he caused considerable damage.
Shortly thereafter, he was allegedly able to exit the truck and enter the visiting area in the lobby. Authorities then subdued him and took him into custody.
If convicted, Batista faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Porto is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.