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Mexican National Gets Nine Years for Marijuana Conviction and Related Assault of Federal Officer

NOV 21 (MCALLEN, Texas) - Jose Miguel Andrade-Rocha has been ordered to prison for transporting a load of marijuana and assaulting a Border Patrol (BP) agent who was attempting to arrest him, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. He pleaded guilty July 30, 2014.

Andrade, 40, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute approximately 587 kilograms of marijuana on May 9, 2014. At the time of his guilty plea, evidence proved that while the Border Patrol agent attempted to stop the vehicle driven by Andrade near La Rosita, Andrade continued until he drove off the road and crashed into a fence. He then fled on foot. Shortly thereafter, the agent attempted an arrest, but Andrade resisted. The BP agent sustained injuries during the incident, which required medical attention.

A search of the vehicle revealed 55 bundles of marijuana.

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Micaela Alvarez handed Andrade a sentence of 108 months in federal prison. Andrade is an illegal alien and is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the testimony of the BP agent. At the hearing, he testified that Andrade had punched him in the lip and torso area, which resulted in his hospitalization and treatment for acute renal failure. The court found that the agent’s four-day hospitalization for kidney failure was indeed serious and that the assault had occurred while the agent was merely trying to fulfill his obligations as an agent. The court further noted that in addition to coming into the U.S. illegally, Andrade was committing another crime – drug trafficking, which causes harm to both the U.S. and Mexico.

Andrade has been in custody without bond since his arrest in May 2014, where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The case was investigated by Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and BP. Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Requénez is prosecuting the case.  
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