LAREDO, Texas – A 39-year-old Mexican
national has been sentenced for attacking a Border Patrol (BP) agent with a
flashlight, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Melecio Lopez-Hernandez
pleaded guilty April 30, 2019.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia
Marmolejo handed Lopez-Hernandez a 70-month-term of imprisonment. Not a U.S.
citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following the sentence.
At the hearing, the defense attempted to convince the court he thought the
officer was a cow and was startled when he appeared. Judge Marmolejo was not
persuaded. She further found the flashlight he used was a dangerous weapon
under the law and noted Lopez-Hernandez had a clear intent to harm the agent
based on the evidence.
Authorities arrested Lopez-Hernandez Feb. 7,
2019, after a BP agent encountered him walking through the brush south of
Freer. He began to struggle as the agent attempted to detain him, during which
time Lopez-Hernandez dislodged a flashlight that was clipped to the agent’s
After verbally threatening him,
Lopez-Hernandez then struck the agent in the head with the flashlight. The
agent sustained injuries from the impact.
He has been and will remain in custody
pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the
The FBI and Border Patrol conducted the
investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Day is prosecuting the case.