A 55-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico sent to prison, having been convicted of assaulting a Border Patrol agent near Hebbronville, Texas. Miguel Cabrera-Rangel, a citizen of Mexico, was found guilty by a federal jury in Laredo on June 29, 2017, following a two-day trial.
 
U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña ordered Cabrera-Rangel to serve the statutory maximum of eight years in prison. Cabrera-Rangel will face deportation hearings once he serves his time. He is originally from Queretaro, a state in central Mexico.

The court heard from the victim who provided an update of continuing issues he is having with his eye. The officer already had a pre-existing condition that made him more likely to suffer from a detached retina; and his ophthalmologist provided a written statement indicating that the blow to the agent likely precipitated the issue. The detached retina was repaired but then he developed cataracts. He underwent another surgery over the weekend.

During trial, the jury heard testimony from a Border Patrol (BP) agent who was investigating a report of possible undocumented aliens on a ranch near Hebbronville on January 19. Security guards at a local ranch had alerted authorities after spotting on game cameras a cluster of illegal immigrants. Alerted, the agent came upon the group and attempted to apprehend them. Cabrera-Rangel charged at the agent and grappled with him while shouting at the other illlegal immigrants to escape.

Meanwhile, the agent lost his radio and was unable to call for help. Cabrera-Rangel was able to take the agent’s flashlight and used it to strike him in the head repeatedly. Cabrera-Rangel also was able to pin one of the agent’s arms and punched him several times. As the agent tried to fight off the attack, Cabrera reached for the agent’s gun, but was unable gain control ot it. The agent was eventually able to push off Cabrera-Rangel who then ran away into the brush. The agent suffered a bilateral fracture of the nose along with lacerations and contusions. Cabrera-Rangel fled, but was later apprehended on a fishing boat in Copano Bay off Corpus Christi. He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
 
The FBI investigated the case in conjunction with the Border Patrol. Assistant U.S Attorneys Michael Bukiewicz and Christopher Coker prosecuted the case.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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