TUCSON, Ariz. – A local area man was sentenced Jan. 24, to 204 months in prison for shooting at border patrol agents during a high-speed pursuit in a probe headed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Roberto Ramirez, 23, of Tucson, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps after previously pleading guilty August 8, 2019, to one count of transportation of illegal aliens for profit placing in jeopardy of life, three separate counts of assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon, and one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
On Christmas Eve 2017, Ramirez transported two undocumented aliens for profit and fled from the Border Patrol checkpoint on I-19 at speeds close to 100 mph. Three Border Patrol agents were in pursuit when the defendant tried to ram their marked patrol cars with his own car. When that did not stop the pursuit, the defendant fired shots at the agents with a revolver. When his firearm was empty of ammunition, the defendant attempted to reload the weapon but, in doing so, lost control of his car which then rolled multiple times. One of the undocumented individuals was unrestrained and ejected from the defendant’s vehicle. He suffered head trauma that caused him to be in a coma, and sustained a broken shoulder and collarbone resulting in the permanent disfigurement of one of his shoulders. The other individual suffered a permanent injury to one of his eyes that will affect his vision for the rest of his life.
“We are grateful to the Border Patrol agents who put their lives on the line to stop Ramirez from causing even more harm,” said United States Attorney Michael Bailey. “These smugglers present a danger to everyone, and we will continue to work with Border Patrol, HSI, and other law enforcement partners to aggressively prosecute these cases.”
The prosecution was handled by Liza M. Granoff and Matthew C. Cassell, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.