Third Defendant Sentenced in Murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas

San Diego, California - Jose Luis Ramirez-Dorantes was sentenced today to 55 years in prison for his participation in the July 2009 robbery and murder of United States Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas, Jr.

Ramirez, a 46-year-old Mexican national, pleaded guilty on January 10, 2013, admitting he was one of five armed individuals who conspired to rob a U.S. Border Patrol agent of his night vision device, which resulted in Agent Rosas being fatally shot during a struggle. Ramirez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and kidnaping and use and carrying of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.

Court filings indicate that in July 2009, Ramirez and four others plotted to rob a Border Patrol agent of his night vision device. On July 23, 2009, the group, bearing firearms, traveled by car and foot to the international border near Campo, California. Ramirez stood watch on the Mexican side of the border while three co-conspirators sneaked into the United States at night and waited for a Border Patrol agent to arrive in the area. After Agent Rosas arrived in the area and exited his vehicle, he was detained at gunpoint. Agent Rosas resisted, and, during the ensuing struggle, Ramirez’s co-conspirators shot Agent Rosas multiple times, killing him. The co-conspirators then stole the agent’s firearm, night vision device, and other equipment and fled back to Mexico.

In June 2010, Mexican officials arrested Ramirez in Naucalpan, Mexico, near Mexico City, at the request of the United States. Ramirez was extradited to the United States in December 2010.

Ramirez is the third defendant to be sentenced for Agent Rosas’ murder. In April 2010, United States District Judge M. James Lorenz sentenced Christian Daniel Castro-Alvarez to 40 years of imprisonment. On November 14, 2013, he sentenced Marcos Rodriguez-Perez to 56 years to run consecutive to a two-year sentence Rodriguez is currently serving for violating his supervised release from a prior alien smuggling conviction. One other defendant, Emilio Samyn Gonzales-Arenazas, has pleaded guilty to participating in the murder and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 23, 2014. The last defendant, Jose Juan Chacon-Morales, remains a fugitive, and there is a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest or location.

After Ramirez’s sentencing, United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy expressed her condolences to Agent Rosas’s family and colleagues at the Border Patrol: “We hope that in some small way, these successful prosecutions can make a difference to members of the Rosas family who have suffered such a tragic, irreparable loss. Ramirez and the others will pay a high price for their unconscionable actions that terrible night.”

Duffy also expressed her gratitude to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations who conducted the investigation. “Since July 2009, the investigating agents have displayed exceptional diligence and tenacity to bring these four men to justice, despite the length and complexity of this cross-border investigation. The expertise and resolve of the agents in this case demonstrate that if a law enforcement officer is harmed in any way, the United States will dedicate its full resources to catching the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.”

Chief Patrol Agent Paul A. Beeson of the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector said, “On behalf of all Border Patrol agents, we extend our deepest appreciation for the resolve and professionalism of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their work on the prior convictions and this sentencing. We will always remember Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas as a good father, loving husband, and a patriot to his country.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Daphne Hearn commented, "Today’s sentencing sends a message that the FBI is committed to bringing to justice those responsible for the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas. Agent Rosas served his country with dedication, honor, and courage and was killed while protecting our nation’s borders. The FBI recognizes that no punishment will lessen Agent Rosas' death, but we hope today’s sentencing will help bring some closure to the family.”

Defendant in Criminal Case No. 10CR1793-L

Jose Luis Ramirez-Dorantes
Age: 45
Mexico

Summary of Charges

Count one: Title 18, United States Code, Section 371: Conspiracy to commit robbery and kidnaping

Count five: Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1): Discharging firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence

Investigating Agencies

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Homeland Security Investigations

Additional information