For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
, United States Attorney
Ryan K. Patrick
Contact: Angela Dodge
Convicted Felon Heads to Prison for Firearms Violation
Houston Field Division
McALLEN, Texas – A 32-year-old Donna man has been sentenced in federal court for being a felon unlawfully in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Joaquin Ramos De La Cruz pleaded guilty Sept. 1, 2017.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane handed De La Cruz a sentence of 204 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. De La Cruz had previously been convicted for numerous criminal offenses, including aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and attempted murder.
The court found him to be an armed career criminal. In handing down the sentence, Judge Crane considered De La Cruz’s disregard for human life displayed in his prior criminal conduct in which he discharged firearms at multiple individuals in separate criminal episodes. The court also considered several jail calls the defendant made in which he threatened others with death while awaiting sentencing.
On Jan. 17, 2017, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and the Law Enforcement Emergency Regional Response Team (LEERT) attempted to execute an arrest warrant for De La Cruz at a residence in Donna. While authorities entered the residence, De La Cruz discharged multiple rounds from a Ruger, Model P95, 9mm pistol in an attempt to exit through a locked rear door to the residence. De La Cruz eventually exited, but was promptly apprehended. Agents recovered the Ruger 9mm pistol at the scene.
As a convicted felon, he is prohibited by federal law of possessing any firearm or ammunition.
In federal custody since his arrest, De La Cruz will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation with the assistance of the USMS and LEERT. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez Jr. prosecuted the case.