WICHITA – A 32-year-old Mexican national who pleaded guilty to lunging with a box-cutter at a U.S. immigration agent has been sentenced to 30-months in federal prison. The defendant, Jose Luis Ramirez-Rico received the sentence Wednesday from U.S. District Judge Eric F. Melgren.
Ramirez pleaded guilty in the case June 7. The incident from which the case arose occurred March 17 in the 600 block of South Hydraulic in Wichita at a house where Ramirez temporarily was residing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were looking for another person when the incident occurred. ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Officer Greg Perez was asking Ramirez about the person being sought when Ramirez grabbed a box-cutter lying nearby and lunged toward Officer Perez. Perez and two other ERO officers were able to disarm Rodriguez and arrest him without injury to themselves or Rodriguez.
“This situation could have gone very badly,” U-S Attorney Barry Grissom said. “Officer Perez and the other officers are to be commended for responding to this incident professionally and without bloodshed or injury.”
Grissom said federal immigration officers face dangerous circumstances every day but seem to get little recognition, despite the importance of their role in federal law enforcement. “I am thankful for the job they do,” Grissom said.
Because Rodriguez’s conviction is an “aggravated felony” under immigration laws, he is subject to automatic removal from the U.S. after he completes his prison term and is banned for life from reapplying for admission into the United States.