Detainee Sentenced to Prison for Assaulting Immigration Agent
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A person in custody at the Port Isabel Detention Center was convicted for assaulting and obstructing a federal agent has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison..
“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that they are consequences for egregious behavior,” said Deborah Achim, acting field office director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Enforcement Removal Operations (ICE-ERO) in San Antonio. “All assaults or threats against our employees will be aggressively investigated, and criminal charges initiated whenever possible, such as in this case. Protecting our ICE employees is paramount.”
Kemar Ramon James, 23, a Jamaican citizen who formerly had legal permanent resident status in the United States, had pleaded guilty to assaulting and obstructing an immigration agent at the Port Isabel Detention Center. However, James later withdrew his guilty plea and went to trial, at which time he was convicted of the same charge in October.
In July 2010, James was in administrative custody at the Port Isabel Detention Center pending removal proceedings pending before an immigration court. On July 22, 2010, Detention center guards and agents were conducting a routine dorm search, at which time another detainee refused to follow agents’ directions.
When detention officers and an ICE agent were attempting to escort that detainee out of the area, James approached the agent and stated that the other detainee was not going anywhere. One of the detention officers shifted his attention to James and gestured for James to move back from the ICE agent and the other detainee.
When the detention officer placed his hand out, James slapped the officer’s hand away. At that point, the ICE agent attempted to make James step away from the other officers and the other detainee, but James swung and punched the agent in the face once, cutting the agent’s face and that required two stitches.
As other agents came to the injured agent’s assistance to restrain James, James resisted. During James’ transport away from the area, James bragged to a supervisory ICE agent that he had knocked down an ICE agent and later threatened to attack another agent.