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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Leigha Simonton, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Undocumented Man Who Shot Seminole Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Firearm Crime

A Mexican man who shot a police officer in Seminole, Texas pleaded guilty today to a federal firearm crime, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.

Jose Ramon Castillo-Lopez, 28, was charged via criminal complaint in October 2022 and indicted later that same month. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegal alien in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, Mr. Castillo-Lopez, a Mexican national in the United States illegally, admitted he was pulled over by a Seminole Police Department officer for traffic violations on Oct. 1, 2022.

As the officer approached Mr. Castillo-Lopez’s vehicle, he began firing at the officer with a handgun. The officer was struck but moved to a defensive position and returned fire. Mr. Castillo-Lopez exited his vehicle and fled, dropping a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol as he did so.

The officer was able to radio in a description of the defendant, and he was apprehended a few blocks away shortly thereafter.

In an interview with law enforcement, Mr. Castillo-Lopez admitted he had been previously deported and was currently in the county illegally. He also admitted to firing the pistol, which he said he purchased from an unknown individual at a traffic light in Midland, Texas for $200.

Mr. Castillo-Lopez now faces up to 15 years in federal prison.

The victim officer’s body armor prevented serious injury, and he returned to duty shortly thereafter.

Homeland Security Investigation’s Dallas Field Office and the Seminole Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew McLeod is prosecuting the case.

The victim officer’s body armor prevented serious injury, and he returned to duty shortly after the incident.

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