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Mexican man sentenced to 43 years in assault on Forest Service officer

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Mexican man sentenced to 43 years in assault on Forest Service officer

An Agua Prieta man will serve 43 years in a U.S. federal prison for attacking a U.S. Forest Service officer near Douglas last August, a judge ordered Monday.

Jesus Eder Moreno-Ornelas, 31, was sentenced in Tucson's federal court after having earlier been found guilty by a 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 Mexican national was convicted of the Aug. 23, 2014 assault, and sentenced to 520 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson.

From a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office:

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.

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