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August 13, 2018Beaumont, TX, United StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives

Honduran man sentenced to nearly 3 years in federal prison for illegally possessing firearm, shooting son of off-duty law enforcement officer

BEAUMONT, Texas — An illegal alien from Honduras was sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison Monday for shooting the son of an off-duty law enforcement officer.

This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Houston, Texas, with assistance from HSI Boston, HSI Madrid and IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Santos Alfredo Paz-Ruiz, 42, was sentenced Aug. 13 to 33 months in federal prison for firearms violations.  On May 10, 2018, Paz-Ruiz pleaded guilty to being an illegal alien unlawfully possessing a firearm.

On Nov. 4, 2017, Paz-Ruiz was confronted by an off-duty law enforcement officer for driving erratically on a rural road in Hardin County, Texas.  During the confrontation, Paz-Ruiz brandished a handgun and fired a shot.  Paz-Ruiz was then tackled by the off-duty officer’s son and a struggle ensued.  During the struggle, the firearm discharged striking the off-duty officer’s son in the ankle.  The injury was not life-threatening. 

Further investigation revealed Paz-Ruiz was illegally in the United States and is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm.  Paz-Ruiz was indicted by a federal grand jury Jan. 10, 2018, and charged with firearms violations.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke, Eastern District of Texas.