Phoenix man charged with assaulting Border Patrol agent


TUCSON — A Phoenix man was arrested last week after authorities say he tried to strike a U.S. Border Patrol agent’s vehicle with one he was driving.

Daniel Jerome Wagner, 54, of Phoenix, was arrested on one count of assault on a federal officer with the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon, according to a news release. Wagner was charged by criminal complaint and had his initial appearance on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric J. Markovich.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, near Douglas, a U.S. Border Patrol agent attempted to conduct an immigration inspection of a vehicle driven by Wagner, who was suspected of smuggling undocumented noncitizens.

The agent followed Wagner’s vehicle, which was traveling westbound at a high rate of speed on State Route 80. Wagner then abruptly stopped his vehicle, causing the vehicle to spin in the middle of the highway.

The agent then stopped his vehicle and saw Wagner driving eastbound directly towards his fully marked U.S. Border Patrol vehicle. As Wagner drove towards the agent, he crossed into the agent’s lane, forcing the agent to drive off the highway and onto the shoulder to avoid being struck.

Wagner then drove past the agent’s vehicle, narrowly missing him. Other agents followed Wagner and eventually arrested him.

A conviction for assault on a federal officer with the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

Customs and Border Protection’s U.S. Border Patrol conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raquel Arellano, District of Arizona, Tucson, is handling the prosecution.