A US Border Patrol agent patrols the remote and rugged stretches of the Tucson Sector. On July 3, 2022, a Guatemalan migrant allegedly attacked and injured a fellow agent near the international boundary with Mexico. US Border Patrol photo.
A federal grand jury in Arizona has indicted a Guatemalan migrant for injuring a US Border Patrol agent atop a mountain inside the Tohono O’odham Nation.
Unsealed July 27 in Tucson, the indictment charges Jorge Oliverio Moran-Can, 42, with assaulting and injuring US Border Patrol Agent Blaze Goldhahn 24 days earlier near Newfield, a village in the Tohono O’odham’s Chukut Kuk District close to the international boundary with Mexico.
Tohono O’odham tribal lands straddle both sides of the border, but the Mexican portion of the vast and sparsely populated Sonoran Desert has increasingly fallen under Sinaloa Cartel control.
A criminal complaint alleges Moran-Can was hiding with two other people near a ledge in a remote area of a mountain range when Goldhahn found them.
A US Border Patrol Tuscon Sector BORSTAR emergency medical technician aids a Guatemalan migrant on Sept. 8, 2021, in the Vaca Hills of the Tohono O’odham Nation. The man had been walking through the brush under the scorching sun for eight days. US Border Patrol photo.
Two of the suspects bolted, leaving Moran-Can behind. At first, Moran-Can seemed compliant, but when Goldhahn went to cuff him, the Guatemalan rammed his shoulder into the agent’s torso, causing both of them to tumble down the rocky slope, according to the court filing.
When they stopped rolling, Goldhahn regained control of Moran-Can and cuffed him, but not before the agent suffered scrapes and bruises on his left knee, hip, and back, according to photographs filed with the federal court in Tucson.
If convicted, Moran-Can faces up to 20 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine. His court-appointed federal defender did not respond to Coffee or Die Magazine’s messages seeking comment.
Moran-Can is slated to be arraigned Aug. 19 before US District Judge Jacqueline Rateau in Tucson.
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Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
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