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Press Release

Drug trafficker awaiting sentence charged with assaulting officer

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 24-year-old Honduran man has been charged with physically assaulting a Starr County Detention Center (SCDC) officer who was performing official federal duties, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Jose Humberto Ordonez made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott Hacker this morning, at which time he was ordered to remain in custody pending further criminal proceedings.

Ordonez was convicted in 2019 for possession with intent to distribute approximately 211 kilograms of marijuana and has been in custody at the SCDC in Rio Grande City pending his sentencing. The criminal complaint alleges that in April 2020, officers had responded to an incident in Ordonez’s cell where he did not comply with commands and had become combative. Ordonez allegedly repeatedly struck and punched an SCDC officer in the face with a closed fist. The officer suffered a fractured nose and other injuries and was transported to a hospital, according to the charges.

Ordonez is set for sentencing on his drug trafficking conviction and is pending sentencing before U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, at which time he faces up to 40 years in federal prison. If convicted of the new charges, he faces an additional 20 years and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

The U.S. Marshals Service, FBI and Starr County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Redavid 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.

Updated April 23, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime