Greenville man pleads guilty to assaulting ICE officers

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) Greenville man has pleaded guilty to assaulting ICE officers, U.S. Attorney said.

United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that Daniel Oliver Pérez, 20, pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging him with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and employees of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while they were attempting to execute an administrative arrest warrant against an individual known to the defendant (hereinafter “known person” or “KP”).

United States Attorney Higdon commented, “Law enforcement officers – including ICE agents – all across the country perform a vital service to each of us as they enforce our criminal, civil and administrative laws.  They must be allowed to do these jobs without interference and without the risk of harm.  Federal prosecutors in this District stand ready to support our law enforcement partners at every level and will prosecute those who place their security and safety at risk.”

“ICE Deportation Officers conduct arrests according to federal law, as enacted by Congress. They are sworn law enforcement officers who carry out our nation’s immigration laws in support of public safety and the integrity of our immigration system. Impeding ICE Officers in the performance of their duties is dangerous and will not be tolerated, and ICE will continue to aggressively pursue criminal charges against such individuals,” said John Tsoukaris, Interim Director, Atlanta Field Office. I would like to thank our partners in the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina for supporting our officers and the critically important work they do on behalf of this great nation.”

“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted the investigation that led to the federal charges against Mr. Oliver-Perez. It’s unacceptable for individuals to assault or obstruct federal law enforcement officers while they are enforcing our nation’s laws,” said Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Charlotte.

On November 23, 2018, Pérez accompanied the KP to the Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Custom Enforcement Application Support Center in Morrisville.

Once the KP and Pérez joined a waiting line an ICE officer identified himself as an immigration officer and told KP he needed to come with the officer. 

The defendant then grabbed the KP by the jacket to preclude the ICE officers from detaining/arresting the KP. 

The ICE Officer and another officer attempted to pull the defendant away from the KP while another officer attempted to arrest the KP.

Due to the struggling of both the defendant and the KP, both they and the officers fell to the floor.

An officer was able to handcuff the KP and two officers then began to remove the KP from the waiting area through the back door.

As the KP was being escorted out, the defendant again tried to get ahold of the KP.

The Officer grabbed the defendant around the waist to prevent the defendant’s interference with the safe removal of the KP.

The defendant grabbed the officer by the neck in a chokehold grip. The Officer instructed the defendant to let him go.

After several seconds, the Officer was able to release himself from the defendant’s grip.

During the altercation, the Officer sustained a cut on his hand and had difficulty breathing during the chokehold.

Pérez then followed the officers who had removed the KP from the waiting area and had taken him to the ICE transport van.

The assigned driver of the van was another ICE Officer who was sitting in the driver’s seat.

The defendant gained access to the inside of the van and hit this officer on the head and chest area with his right hand while grabbing the steering wheel with his left hand.

The officer was able to turn his body, lean back, and kick the defendant away from him.

During the scuffle, the door to the van became unhinged and the Officer had to exit the vehicle in order to close it.

The officer was able to get back into the vehicle and shut the doors.

Pérez then approached the first Officer who had now exited the ACS building.

The defendant again attempted to physically confront the Officer and while doing so ripped the officer’s shirt. 

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