Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Chicago Man Faces Federal Charges for Shooting an ATF Agent
CHICAGO – ERNESTO GODINEZ, 27, of Chicago, was charged in connection with the shooting of an ATF Agent engaged in his official duties. A federal criminal complaint charges him with assault of a Federal Officer with a dangerous and deadly weapon.
Godinez made an initial court appearance today before United States Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez, who ordered him detained until a detention hearing on Thursday, May 17th at 11:00 am.
The charges were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Celinez Nunez, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; and Eddie Johnson, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Substantial assistance in the investigation of and search for Godinez was provided by the United States Marshals Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chicago office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Illinois State Police, and several other local police departments.
The officials noted that the investigation continues.
“Violent assaults on law enforcement agents working to make the community safer will not be tolerated,” remarked U.S. Attorney Lausch. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to holding such offenders accountable, as are our local, state, and Federal law enforcement partners, whose tireless investigation to identify and locate the defendant after the shooting made this prosecution possible.”
“ATF is dedicated, determined and committed to making our community safer,” said Special Agent in Charge Celinez Nunez. “We cannot let the people committing these violent acts to continue to terrorize our neighborhoods. We can make a difference if we stand together and hold them accountable.”
"Each and every day members of law enforcement run toward the danger to keep Chicagoans safe, which is something we witnessed firsthand last Friday,” said CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “CPD was proud to work with our partner agencies to apprehend the individual responsible and I would like to thank the residents in the Back of the Yards community for their close cooperation in making our neighborhoods safer.”
The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Assault of a Federal Officer with a dangerous and deadly weapon carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kavitha Babu and Nicholas Eichenseer are representing the government.
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