Lovington, New Mexico Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Assault on Law Enforcement Officials
In Pecos today, a federal judge sentenced a Lovington, NM, man to 300 months in federal prison for a crime spree during which five law enforcement officials were assaulted, announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas E. Lindquist, El Paso Division.
In addition to the prison term, Chief United States District Judge Orlando Garcia ordered that 29–year-old Enrique Sanchez Quiroga be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.
On November 2, 2015, Quiroga pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to impede or injure officers; assaulting, resisting or impeding officers; unlawful transport of firearms; transportation of stolen firearms; receipt of stolen firearms; use of a firearm during a crime of violence; and, transportation of a stolen motor vehicle.
According to court records, during the early morning hours on December 14, 2015, near Sierra Blanca, TX, a U.S. Border Patrol agent attempted to stop a vehicle whose occupants included Quiroga, along with Hobbs, NM residents Maritza Navarrette Mota, age 23, and Sayra Baeza, age 26. The trio failed to yield and began firing shots from their stolen vehicle at the Border Patrol agent and a second Border Patrol agent who had joined in the pursuit. The trio ultimately abandoned the stolen vehicle and ran into the desert. Law enforcement, which by now also included Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and an officer with the Texas Department of Wildlife, continued to pursue the defendants on foot. Mota and Baeza eventually surrendered while Quiroga continued firing his weapon at law enforcement authorities. Ultimately, Quiroga was subdued after being shot several times by law enforcement during the pursuit.
According to court records, the arrests of the defendants served as the end of a crime spree which began approximately five days prior in New Mexico where there were reports of a stolen firearm, a stolen vehicle and a burglary of a department store had occurred.
On February 16, 2016, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sentenced Mota and Baeza to 144 months and 128 months in federal prison, respectively, for their roles in the criminal activity.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Border Patrol, and Texas Department of Public Safety, with the assistance of the El Paso County Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney James J. Miller, Jr. prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.