A Guatemalan man will spend five years in a U.S. prison after he assaulted a Border Patrol agent in Uvalde, Texas. The agent suffered a concussion after the man pounded his head against a train car.
In November 2016, Border Patrol agents discovered two illegal immigrants near a train that recently crossed the border from Mexico. One fled the scene. The other, Elias de Jesus Gregorio de Paz, a 21-year-old Guatemalan national, began fighting with one of the agents. During the fight, de Paz slammed the agent’s head, neck, and body into the train causing the agent to lose consciousness, according to court documents.
The illegal immigrant fled the scene and disappeared for a few days. Border Patrol agents encountered de Paz on November 22, 2016, and placed him in custody.
The injured Border Patrol agent was transported to the hospital–doctors determined he suffered a concussion from the assault.
De Paz pleaded guilty to assaulting the agent in federal court on March 9, 2017. On January 8, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses sentenced the Guatemalan national to five years in prison. He also ordered de Paz to pay the Border Patrol agent restitution to cover medical expenses and lost wages.
“This case demonstrates the great sacrifice Border Patrol Agents make every day, often risking their lives to protect our nation. Violence against Border Patrol Agents will not be tolerated,” San Antonio Division FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.
To combat rising assaults against Border Patrol agents, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to increase the number of prosecutions. In a memo dated April 11, 2017, Sessions directed prosecutors to push for charges against anyone who assaults, resists, or impedes agents engaging in the performance of their official duties, Breitbart Texas reported.
Despite this effort, assaults on Border Patrol agents continue to increase. During Fiscal Year 2017, assaults on Border Patrol agents increased by more than 70 percent over the prior year. A total of 786 agents were assaulted in 324 incidents over the period ending September 30, 2017. During the first two months of Fiscal Year 2018, 96 Border Patrol agents were assaulted in the line of duty.