Father and Son Sentenced for Shooting Federal Agent
MCALLEN, TX—Two Hargill men have received significant sentences for the July 2012 aggravated assault on a Homeland Security Investigations agent, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A federal jury in McAllen convicted Pedro Alvarado, 43, and his son Arnoldo Alvarado, 20, on March 21, 2014, following a four-day trial.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Pedro Alvarado to 120 months for aggravated assault of a federal agent and 120 months for discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The court ordered that the sentences run consecutive for a total sentence of 240 months of federal imprisonment followed by a three-year-term of supervised release. Arnoldo Alvarado will serve 72 months for the aggravated assault and a consecutive 120 months for discharging a firearm for a total sentence of 192 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
At trial, the jury heard that in the early morning hours of July 3, 2012, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents received information regarding a tractor-trailer located near Hargill that was going to be used to transport a large load of marijuana. Based on this information, agents traveled to Hargill to set up surveillance. One of those agents parked near the residence of Pedro Alvarado. Unbeknownst to the agents, another group of individuals were also conducting surveillance of the same tractor-trailer for the purpose of stealing the load of marijuana that they believed the tractor-trailer contained.
At approximately 3:30 a.m., one of those individuals noticed several vehicles in the area, specifically, a vehicle parked near Pedro Alvarado’s residence, and notified him. Pedro Alvarado then told his sons, Arnoldo, and another 16-year-old minor, to get their guns and get into their pickup truck.
Pedro Alvarado then drove the truck with his sons as passengers, without his headlights, near the location the agent was parked. As the truck approached, the agent began to drive away, at which time the 16-year-old minor began shooting with a .22 caliber rifle.
The agent attempted to get away, but Pedro Alvarado continued to pursue him at a high rate of speed, while Arnoldo Alvarado began to shoot at him with a 9mm firearm. Approximately one mile into the chase, a bullet struck the agent in the back. Although injured, he continued to flee, ultimately landing him in a brush where he got out of the vehicle and managed to run to avoid being detected by this assailants.
Sometime thereafter, other agents located the agent and transported him to the hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair his lung, which was pierced by the bullet.
The subsequent investigation lead agents to the residence of Pedro Alvarado, where agents conducted a search and found both weapons used during the assault hidden in the attic.
Both men have been in custody since their arrests July 3, 2012, where they will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
FBI and HSI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anibal J. Alaniz and James Sturgis prosecuted the case.