Mexican National Sentenced to More Than 43 Years in Prison for Aggravated Assault of U.S. Forest Service Officer
TUCSON, AZ—On Oct. 19, 2015, Jesus Eder Moreno-Ornelas, 31, of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson to 520 months in prison. Moreno-Ornelas was previously found guilty by a federal jury, of aggravated assault of a federal officer, use of a firearm in connection with a crime of violence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm by an illegal alien, two counts of attempted robbery of government property, and illegal re-entry after deportation.
The evidence at trial showed that on Aug. 23, 2014, when Moreno-Ornelas and another individual were approached by a U.S. Forest Service officer who was working in the Coronado National Forest area near Douglas, Ariz., Moreno-Ornelas attacked the officer and took his gun, physically assaulting the officer and firing several shots before the officer regained control of the weapon. Moreno-Ornelas also unsuccessfully attempted to steal the officer’s patrol vehicle. At sentencing, Judge Jorgenson found that the evidence at trial had established premeditated intent to kill the victim and that Moreno-Ornelas had attempted to obstruct justice by threatening a witness prior to trial. Moreno-Ornelas was a convicted felon who was illegally present in the United States after having been previously deported.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sierra Vista, with the help of the United States Forest Service, United States Border Patrol, Cochise County Sheriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The prosecution was handled by Carin C. Duryee and Angela W. Woolridge, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.