MCALLEN, TX—Pedro Alvarado, 41, and Arnoldo Alvarado, 18, have been arrested and charged with the assault of a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The Hargill, Texas men are currently in custody and expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Orsmby this morning at 10:30 a.m.
The criminal complaint was filed just minutes ago in McAllen, Texas. Both are charged with assault of a federal officer and knowingly using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
“The announcement of these arrests related to the shooting of our HSI special agent is a testament to the close cooperation among our law enforcement partners,” said Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton. “We are encouraged by this action to bring these criminals to justice. We continue to keep the agent and his family in our prayers during his road to recovery.”
On July 3, 2012, HSI special agents were conducting surveillance in anticipation of a narcotics transaction believed to be occurring near Hargill. While parked in his official vehicle near the intersection of Farm to Market 493 and Cemetery Road, an HSI agent was allegedly approached by another vehicle from which shots were fired. According to the criminal complaint, the agent proceeded north, and the second vehicle pursued him and continued shooting. The agent then lost control of his vehicle, at which time additional agents arrived and discovered the agent had been shot one time in the back.
HSI special agents then conducted a consent search at a residence in Hargill and encountered Pedro Alvarado and his son, Arnoldo Alvarado, who were then taken into federal custody for further questioning. A third person, a minor, was also identified in relation to the crime and was turned over to state authorities.
The penalty range for assault on federal officer is up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000, upon conviction. The Alvarados also face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a $250,000 fine for using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.
The case is being investigated by the FBI with the assistance of HSI. Assistant United States Attorneys James Sturgis and Anibal Alaniz are prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.