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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

January 6, 2012

Robert E. O'Neill, United States Attorney

Contact: William Daniels
(813) 274-6388

Illegal Alien Faces Federal Firearm Charges in Connection with Shooting of 2 Year Old

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces the arrest today of Luis Javier Farias-Mendoza (20, Orlando). Farias-Mendoza is charged in a criminal complaint with possession of a firearm by an illegal alien. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

According to the arrest affidavit, Ocoee police officers contacted Farias-Mendoza at Health Central Hospital on December 26, 2011, when hospital personnel reported that a two-year old child had been admitted with a gunshot wound to the head. After being advised of his constitutional rights, Farias-Mendoza admitted that he had been trying to put away his .22 caliber pistol when it discharged through the wall of his bedroom. After hearing yelling in the adjacent bedroom, Farias-Mendoza had set the pistol down and discovered that his two year-old cousin had been shot in the head. The child later died from the injury. Authorities subsequently recovered the .22 caliber pistol that had been in the home.

Upon further questioning, Farias-Mendoza admitted that he had purchased the firearm a year earlier and had been shooting it as recently as Christmas Eve, from a moving vehicle on local roadways. He acknowledged that he is a Mexican citizen and in the United States illegally – a fact subsequently confirmed by federal immigration agents. As an illegal alien, Farias-Mendoza is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Ocoee Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.