CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A federal jury has returned a guilty verdict against a Cuban woman for assaulting two Border Patrol (BP) agents at the Javier Vega Checkpoint, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The jury deliberated for approximately 25 minutes before convicting Yaniuska Ordaz-Echevarria, 31, following a one-day trial.
The jury heard that just before midnight on Jan. 31, Ordaz-Echevarria arrived at the checkpoint in Sarita as a passenger on a commercial bus. Law enforcement removed her in order to inquire more about her citizenship status. Ordaz-Echevarria possessed no identification or other documents indicating she was in the United States lawfully. Authorities then escorted her into the checkpoint building for further processing.
Once inside, Ordaz-Echevarria became irate with authorities, refusing to answer their questions. When law enforcement attempted to peaceably escort her into a holding cell, she swung her fists violently. Her aggressive behavior required multiple agents to attempt to restrain her, during which time she continued to kick and punch them.
Two of the BP agents injured at the checkpoint testified and described attempting to subdue Ordaz-Echevarria while she swung and kicked wildly at agents. The jury also saw exhibits documenting their injuries as well as a video depicting Ordaz-Echevarria’s belligerent acts.
The defense attempted to convince the jury that Ordaz-Echevarria’s actions were unintentional and that Ordaz-Echevarria was just angry about possibly being deported for the fourth time. They were not persuaded and found Ordaz-Echevarria guilty as charged.
U.S. District Judge David Morales presided over the trial and set sentencing for Sept. 28. At that time, Ordaz-Echevarria faces up to eight years imprisonment and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
She has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Yifei Zheng and Dennis Robinson are prosecuting the case.