Human Smuggler Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Assaulting a Federal Officer | USAO-SDMS

Jackson, Miss. – Vicente Lopez-Sanchez, 41, an illegal alien from Mexico, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate to 180 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for assaulting and inflicting serious bodily injury upon a federal law enforcement officer, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Gilbert Trill, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans and Diane Witte, Field Office Director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

“Our office has zero tolerance for those who attack and harm our law enforcement.  Such criminals can be assured they will receive swift prosecution and severe punishment for their unlawful acts. I commend our federal agents, local police, and prosecutors for ensuring that this criminal was held accountable and that justice prevailed. We will continue to do our part to protect the public and our law enforcement, and to ensure that our laws are enforced,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst.

On August 2, 2018, a Brandon Police officer stopped Lopez-Sanchez for a traffic violation on Interstate I-20. Because Lopez-Sanchez had no driver’s license and could only name one of the four passengers he was transporting, the officer suspected alien smuggling.  Lopez-Sanchez then resisted arrest by Brandon police officers and an ICE Deportation Officer.  During the fight, Lopez-Sanchez broke a bone in the Deportation Officer’s foot.

Lopez was indicted on August 21, 2018 and charged with assaulting a federal officer.  He was found guilty on October 22, 2019 after a two-day trial before Judge Wingate in U.S. District Court in Jackson.  Lopez-Sanchez has previously been sentenced for a related offense of illegally reentering the United States following a prior deportation, and has been currently serving that sentence.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with assistance from the Brandon Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Theodore Cooperstein and Lynn Murray.

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