Man accused of striking marked Border Patrol unit with own vehicle

A suspected immigrant smuggler remains in custody after he was accused of ramming the vehicle he was driving into a marked Border Patrol unit pushing it nearly 30 yards away, a federal criminal complaint states.

Cristian Rodriguez, a U.S. citizen, is charged with one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding a federal officer, and one count of transporting three undocumented migrants, the federal criminal complaints read.

Rodriguez appeared Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ignancio Torteya III, who ordered he be held without bond pending his next hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday.

According to the federal criminal complaint, the incident occurred Friday afternoon near JoAnn Lane in Brownsville. Rodriguez, who was driving a Gray Chrysler, was observed by a Border Patrol agent loading three people in the back part of the vehicle, agents said.

When agents in the area were alerted, a possible immigrant smuggling event was occurring, a second agent headed toward JoAnn Street heading west with the unit’s lights on, unaware that an unmarked Border Patrol unit was in front of the Chrysler Rodriguez was driving that was heading east, the federal criminal complaint reads.

As the agent driving the marked unit got closer to the Chrysler and unmarked unit, “Rodriguez aggressively accelerated around the black SUV in the path of” the agent’s unit “striking the marked unit almost head on,” according to the federal criminal complaint. Rodriguez reversed his vehicle and then sped toward the marked Border Patrol unit, “pushing the marked unit approximately 25 to 30 yard east down the street,” agents said.

Although Rodriguez reversed his vehicle a second time, the agents stopped him, agents said.

Once Rodriguez’ vehicle was stopped, the agents inspected it and found three undocumented immigrants inside, along with Rolando Rodriguez Jr., also a U.S. citizen, the federal criminal complaint states.

After an investigation and interviews with the two Rodriguez, it was determined they were attempting to smuggle the undocumented immigrants for financial gain, agents said.

Rolando Rodriguez Jr. also appeared Monday before Torteya, who also ordered he be held without bond until his next court appearance, which is also scheduled for Thursday.