McALLEN A 40-year-old Mexican national convicted of drug trafficking and for assaulting a federal agent during a high speed chase has been sentenced to 144 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Martin Gonzalez-Ramirez late yesterday and was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,952.28.

According to the record of the case, on May 25, 2011, U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to stop a vehicle being driven by Gonzalez-Ramirez traveling north from the Rio Grande River at a high rate of speed near Rio Grande City, Texas. During the chase, he cut through a convenience store parking lot in an attempt to elude law enforcement and intentionally "rammed" a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle.

The defendant then reversed his vehicle and continued to flee from agents until his vehicle became disabled approximately 500 yards from the collision. After a short foot chase, Gonzalez-Ramirez became combative with agents and attempted to take the agent's weapon. The agent did not sustain serious injuries as a result of the collision or subsequent foot chase and contact with the defendant.

Upon search of the vehicle the defendant was driving, agents discovered several bundles of marijuana which weighed approximately 144 kilograms in the passenger compartment of the vehicle and in the bed of the truck. Gonzalez-Ramirez later admitted to being paid to transport the marijuana from the river to another location in Hidalgo County. Gonzalez-Ramirez pleaded guilty July 20, 2011.

During sentencing, Judge Crane took into consideration the defendant's prior criminal record which included felony marijuana possession and assaulting a police officer. Gonzalez-Ramirez has been in federal custody since his arrest and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future where he will serve out his sentence.

This investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the U.S. Border Patrol with the assistance of the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Cory J.H. Crenshaw prosecuted the case.