McALLEN, Texas – A Mexican drug trafficker who assaulted a U.S. Border Patrol agent and sent him to the emergency room got his assault charges dismissed in exchange for pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges.
Earlier this week Miguel Angel Andrade went before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez where he pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle loaded with more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana when he was arrested in the area known as La Rosita, Texas.
“Si su señoria (yes your honor)”, a burly Andrade said in Spanish when asked by Alvarez if he was guilty of the drug charge.
Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas show that on May 9, shortly after 5 a.m., agents spotted Andrade driving a minivan north from the river. This happened moments after agents had spotted Andrade driving south and had seen smugglers on the Mexican side. A Border Patrol agent tried to pull over the van at which point Andrade sped off starting a short pursuit that ended when Andrade crashed into a fence and tried to run away. Andrade then began assaulting the agent who tried to pursue him, in an effort to elude capture. Other agents arrived and after arresting Andrade were able to get help for their injured comrade.
While the court records claim that the assault was a scuffle that resulted in the agent getting a cut lip an injured knee and elbow , in reality the agent was rushed to Starr County Medical Center. There, he spent three days in the hospital and three weeks out of the job recovering from his injuries.
When Alvarez accepted the plea she asked one of the prosecutors if there were any deals. The attorney responded that for pleading to the drug charge they would ask that the charge of assaulting a federal officer be dismissed along with another drug charge and that a lesser sentence be handed down. Alvarez granted the request and set Andrade’s sentencing hearing for late October. He originally could have gotten 5-40 years in prison, but because of the plea deal he will likely get less time.
While not tall, Andrade easily weighed at least 100 pounds more than the Border Patrol agent who sat in the back of the courtroom, shaking his head in disappointment. After the hearing, the agent declined to comment referring all inquiries to the local public affairs office.The plea deal that Andrade was disappointing for members of the local chapter of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) who understand the need to secure a conviction but worry about the message that is being sent out by the dismissal of the charges.
“Local and state agencies would not tolerate assaults on their people but it seems that border patrol agents are fair game,” said Albert Spratte, a fellow border patrol agent and spokesman for the NBPC Local 3307.
Assaults on border patrol agents have become commonplace in recent months. In mid-June a Border Patrol agent near Pharr trying to stop a group of immigrants ended up having to fight off an alien who tried to grab his baton and ripped his police radio away before fleeing; the alien was caught a short time later. Then in April, a man from Guatemala who had entered the country illegally rammed an agents head into a tree and struck him with the butt of his rifle during a similar struggle to get away.
On Thursday, Fox News published the findings of a Texas Department of Public Safety report that lists the increase in assaults on law enforcement officials by drug and human smugglers as well as gang members along the border. The report details attacks by gunfire, rocks and physical assaults as well as the number of seizures and detentions.
Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby has reported on a long series criminal activity by transnational criminal organizations. In the piece “40 acts of love …and counting” Darby lists a series of criminal acts by illegal aliens which include drug trafficking, kidnapping and assaults on law enforcement.
In another piece, Darby reported on how the El Paso Sector was classified as a high risk enforcement area following a series of assaults on agents.
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter @ildefonsoortiz.