Texas Father and Son Convicted in Armed Attack on Federal Border Agents
Pedro Alvarado and his son Arnoldo, both from Hargill, Texas, were convicted on two of three charges pertaining to an armed conflict with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent Kelton Harrison, according to local news reports in south Texas. They were previously charged with one count of attempted murder of a federal officer, but U.S. District Judge Randy Crane declared a mistrial on the charge after jurors became deadlocked.
On July 3, 2012, Agent Harrison parked his car in Hargill while he was conducting a drug surveillance operation, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas. Agent Harrison was near the Alvarados' property at the time—parked of a rural Farm to Market road. As he sat in his car, a second vehicle approached Harrison and began shooting at him, according to the complaint.
The criminal complaint states that as the agent drove away, the second vehicle followed him and continued firing bullets. After eventually being shot, Hargill lost control of his vehicle.
Fellow HSI agents promptly showed up on the scene and ensured Hargill's transportation to a nearby medical facility to receive proper care, according to court records. They then conducted a search at the residence where Hargill's car was initially parked and discovered Pedro, Arnoldo, and one minor. Two illegal immigrants, both citizens of El Salvador, were also found inside the Alvarados' residence, according to the sworn testimony.
After the group was taken to an FBI building in McAllen, Texas, Arnoldo chose to speak to agents without an attorney present, according to the criminal complaint. He told agents that his father, Pedro, instructed him and his younger brother to get guns due to a "suspicious" vehicle near the family's property.
Arnoldo said in the complaint the three got into a vehicle--he was equipped with a 9mm handgun and his brother had a .22 caliber rifle. When they saw Hargill's car sitting on their property with its lights off, the two apparently began shooting as their father drove.
HSI said in a statement, "While ICE HSI is satisfied with the two guilty verdicts, we are disappointed the jury could not come to an agreement on the remaining charge — attempted murder of a federal officer."
Oscar Alvarez, Pedro's attorney, claims he was not allowed to present the jury with results of a federal investigation, according to The McAllen Monitor. He accused Hargill of not following protocol and putting other agents at risk. Alvarez said, "We have a small amount of relief that the jury didn’t convict on the most serious charge, the attempted murder charge. This is a case that calls for an appeal."
Alvarado Complaint by BreitbartTexas
Alvarado Indictment by BreitbartTexas
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