SAN DIEGO–A Mexican national was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to 141 months in prison for pointing a loaded handgun at a U.S. Border Patrol agent in November 2018.
Hector Rodriguez-Chavez, 62 of Guadalajara, Mexico pleaded guilty in September 2019 to one count of assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. During the sentencing hearing, border patrol agents described how they came upon Rodriguez-Chavez in a remote area approximately three miles east of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Rodriguez-Chavez turned and pointed a loaded semi-automatic pistol at one of the agents. That agent told the court he made a split-second decision to grab Rodriguez-Chavez’s gun and wrestle it out of his hands.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel imposed a 141-month sentence for the two counts, plus an additional 24 months in custody for violating the terms of supervised release from a 2014 conviction for illegal re-entry. In imposing the sentence, Judge Curiel noted that one of the purposes of the sentence was to promote respect for the law. Judge Curiel noted how Border Patrol agents must work in remote areas and that, “few law enforcement officers place their life on the line to the extent that Border Patrol agents do.”
“This sentence is a fitting reminder that the safety of our courageous agents, who put their lives on the line every day to protect our country, is of paramount importance to our office and to the community,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer.
“I’m pleased by this sentence,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke. “Any day that our agents go home safe is a good day. Border Patrol Agents risk their lives every day protecting America and the agent’s quick thinking in this case prevented any bloodshed.”