One of the men involved in a machete attack against a Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to prison.
Sergio Ivan Venegas-Quinonez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was reportedly involved in the brutal attack on Agent Lorenzo Hernandez in June of 2017.
Venegas-Quinonez and another illegal immigrant, Fernando Puga, allegedly kidnapped Agent Hernandez while he was off-duty and at his family’s tamale stand in El Paso.
The pair drove Agent Hernandez to a remote location and a struggle ensued. Hernandez escaped, but was badly injured by a machete. He had two fingers partially chopped off, which needed to be reattached, and suffered severe injuries.
Hernandez was hospitalized for an extended period as doctors tended to his stab wounds and a fractured skull.
According to a report by KFOX 14 in El Paso, State District Judge Doug Driggers sentenced Venegas-Quinonez last Thursday to seven years in prison, with a two-year probation period afterward. The probation will be supervised, as the government will likely begin deportation proceedings once he is released from prison.
The government had asked for only five years in prison, so the judge imposed a harsher sentence.
Venegas-Quinonez maintained that he was an unwilling participant in the kidnapping and attack. During the trial, he claimed he only pointed a BB gun at Agent Hernandez. He said Puga was the mastermind behind the attack and the one who hacked at the agent with a machete.
Agent Hernandez contradicted him, saying Puga was the pawn in the incident and Venegas-Quinonez was the gun-wielding mastermind. Hernandez tried to wrestle the gun away from Venegas-Quinonez and escape, causing a drunken Puga to hack at him with the machete to help his friend.
Puga was found not guilty in the incident back in April, but was rearrested by federal authorities after the trial and is facing deportation.
After the sentencing was announced, Agent Hernandez spoke with KFOX 14. He had asked the judge to sentence Venegas-Quinonez to life in prison, but seemed satisfied with the results. “The outcome was thankfully what I expected. The state was looking at five years, he actually got the seven. I would have liked more, but overall it was the best possible outcome,” he said.
Both Puga and Venegas-Quinones are facing more federal charges and additional time in prison.
Here is video of local news coverage of the sentencing.
This local news report, from 2017, covered the initial attack and arrests. It seemed to implicate Puga as the mastermind behind the attack, but it was only later when the truth emerged.
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