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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Man who rammed his truck into FBI signage entrance pleads guilty

HOUSTON – A 43-year-old Waller County man has admitted to willfully injuring or committing depredation against property of the United States by ramming his truck and trailer into the signage entrance of the FBI, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

On May 11, Jesus Jaimes Merlan approached the Houston FBI visitor security facility in a truck. Upon his arrival, he sat in his vehicle, smoked a cigarette and stared forward. At that time, he requested to speak to an agent.

Security advised him that he would have to return in the morning. Merlan responded by yelling he could not wait. He then backed his truck up and rammed it forward into the FBI signage.

Authorities took him into custody immediately and conducted an interview. At that time, he appeared to be in mental distress. He said he rammed the signage because he felt as if he was not getting any help. Merlan also made several incoherent remarks about individuals chasing or stalking him, wishing to do him harm and/or take his belongings.

As part of his plea, Merlan admitted he purposefully caused damage in order to speak to someone at the FBI.

The labor costs estimated to repair the gate and signage is over $35,000.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal will impose sentencing Feb. 9, 2023. At that time, Merlan faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

The Federal Protection Service conducted the investigation with the assistance of the FBI, Houston Police Department and General Services Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Porto is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated October 12, 2022