Three Persons Sentenced to Prison for Attempted Carjacking of Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 19, 2010|
MCALLEN, TX—Three persons convicted of attempting to carjack an off-duty Border Patrol agent have been sentenced to prison, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Jose Wenceslado Mejia, 20, and Dagoberto Navarro-Pompa, 26, were sentenced late yesterday by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane for their role in the attempted carjacking as well as using a firearm during the commission of the carjacking. A third defendant, Maria Teresa De La Rosa, 25, convicted only of the attempted carjacking, was also sentenced to federal prison.
At a hearing yesterday afternoon, Judge Crane sentenced Mejia and Navarro-Pompa to 150 and 180 months, respectively. The total sentence for each defendant includes a consecutive 10-year term of imprisonment for the firearm conviction. De La Rosa was sentenced to 63 months' incarceration. Each defendant has also been ordered to serve a three-year period of supervised release. Mejia, Navarro-Pompa, and De La Rosa, who have been in federal custody without bond, will remain in custody to serve their respective sentences.
According to the record of the case, on June 23, 2009, Claudia Elena Gomez-Aguilar, 28, of Tamaulipas, Mexico, a card reader and Santisima Muerte worshipper, was contacted by a drug money courier who asked Gomez-Aguilar to pray for her as she traveled from Michigan to the Rio Grande Valley with a large sum of money. Instead, Gomez-Aguilar told De La Rosa, of McAllen, Texas, and Juan Vite Martinez, 40, of Hidalgo, Mexico, about the trip and asked if they knew anyone willing to rob the courier and split the money with her. Martinez offered the name of “El Commandante,” Jose Antonio Armendariz.
Armed with the make and model of the car the courier would be driving—a gray Cadillac—Martinez contacted Armendariz who agreed to get people together for the carjacking. Later the same day, Gomez-Aguilar, Martinez and De La Rosa met with Armendariz and others at Gomez’s residence. After messages from the drug money courier during the early morning hours of June 24 confirmed that the courier was near, the defendants, in four separate trucks, awaited the arrival of the gray Cadillac along Highway 281. Armendariz drove a red truck. In a blue truck rode Nieves Rogelio Ramirez, 27, of Sullivan City, Texas, and Navarro-Pompa, of Tamaulipas, Mexico. Gomez-Aguilar, Martinez and De La Rosa rode in Gomez’s red truck. Mejia, of Rio Grande City, Texas, drove a red and black truck and Jose Concepcion Hernandez, 32, also known as “El Mazapan,” of Edinburg, Texas, drove in a white truck. Both the red trucks and the blue truck began following a gray Cadillac they thought was being driven by the courier for several miles. In actuality, they were following a Cadillac driven by an off-duty Border Patrol agent traveling with his young daughter. The trucks continued following the agent until the blue truck driven by Ramirez blocked it at an intersection in Cimarron just west of Shary Road.
At the intersection, the blue truck prevented the agent from leaving. Navarro-Pompa, the passenger, got out of the truck armed with a gun, knocked on the driver’s window of the agent’s car while brandishing his firearm. In response, the agent displayed his duty weapon by resting it on his chest. Seeing the weapon, Navarro-Pompa ran back to the blue truck. The agent drove away from the scene and called 911. The blue truck pursued the agent and ultimately fired multiple shots at the agent’s vehicle two of which actually struck the front windshield area of the vehicle. Both the agent and his daughter were unharmed.
In response to the agent’s call to 911, Mission Police Department were dispatched and met with the agent who relayed what had occurred as well as license plate numbers to the blue truck and the description of the other vehicles involved in following him. As a result of the information provided, the investigation ultimately resulted in the identification and arrest of all involved in the carjacking attempt on the agent and his daughter, the recovery of the firearm used, as well as confessions from several of the defendants.
Gomez-Aguilar, Martinez, Mejia, Ramirez, Navarro-Pompa, and Hernandez all pleaded guilty earlier this year to the attempted carjacking as well as the related firearm charge while De La Rosa pleaded guilty to the attempted carjacking. All have remained in custody without bond. Mejia, Navarro-Pompa, and De La Rosa will remain in custody to serve their respective sentences. Gomez-Aguilar, Martinez, and Ramirez will also remain in custody and will be sentenced in March 2011.
The investigation leading to the charges against the defendants charged in this case was conducted by FBI and FBI Safe Street Task Force with the assistance of the Mission Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Leo J. Leo III and Casey MacDonald are prosecuting the case.