El Salvadorian Man Convicted for Assaulting Border Patrol Agent in Texas

A 20-year-old El Salvadorian, Jose Milton Mendoza-Felipe, has been convicted by a federal jury for assaulting a Border Patrol (BP) agent in McAllen, Texas. The conviction comes after a two-day trial and highlights the challenges faced by law enforcement near the Rio Grande River. This article provides details of the incident, the trial proceedings, and the potential legal consequences for Mendoza-Felipe. 

Assault on Border Patrol Agent:

The incident occurred on June 28 when law enforcement approached a group of undocumented non-citizens near the Rio Grande River. Mendoza-Felipe, part of the group, attempted to evade arrest. A BP agent caught up with him and tried to place him in custody. However, Mendoza-Felipe resisted and engaged in a physical altercation with the agent. 

Violent Struggle and Chokehold Attempt:

During the struggle, Mendoza-Felipe allegedly attempted to strangle the agent by squeezing his windpipe. The agent managed to escape the chokehold, but Mendoza-Felipe persisted in his aggression, attempting to grab the agent by the throat. In the process, he struck the agent's jaw, causing injury and bleeding. Mendoza-Felipe only complied when another BP agent arrived at the scene. 

Trial Testimony:

The trial presented compelling evidence, including scratch marks on the agent's neck. Testimony revealed the extent of the agent's injuries, leading to the need for pain medication. Mendoza-Felipe testified in his defense, claiming he did not choke the agent and was unaware of his law enforcement status. He argued that he was merely defending himself. However, the jury rejected these claims, finding him guilty as charged. 

Sentencing and Potential Consequences:

U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton presided over the trial and set the sentencing for January 29, 2024. Mendoza-Felipe faces a potential sentence of up to eight years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The conviction underscores the serious consequences of assaulting law enforcement officers. 

Collaborative Investigation:

The FBI conducted the investigation with assistance from Border Patrol, emphasizing the collaborative efforts of federal agencies in addressing incidents along the border. The case highlights the risks faced by agents while enforcing border security. 

Jose Milton Mendoza-Felipe's conviction for assaulting a Border Patrol agent sheds light on the challenging and often dangerous situations faced by law enforcement near the U.S.-Mexico border. The legal proceedings underscore the severity of such offenses and the commitment to upholding the safety of agents carrying out their duties. As sentencing approaches, the case serves as a reminder of the consequences individuals may face for acts of violence against law enforcement.



DATA SOURCE: Southern District of Texas | Violent alien strangles federal agent in attempt to flee | United States Department of Justice