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Arizona man faces more than 36 years for human smuggling, shooting at federal agents

Arizona man faces more than 36 years for human smuggling, shooting at federal agents

TUCSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Warren Evan Jose, a 38-year-old Tucson resident, was sentenced to about 36 1/2 years in prison in late October after pleading guilty to charges related to smuggling undocumented migrants and firing an assault rifle at Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents in Ahwatukee in 2019. .

Initial reports at the time show that on April 11, 2019, around 9:48 a.m., Jose and two of his smuggling partners were seen drinking and taking drugs while driving near 48th Street and Elliot Road. Jose had a federal arrest warrant for an earlier incident, which is how HSI agents recognized the Chevy Trailblazer registered to him and his spouse. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver, then 29-year-old Theresa Medina-Thomas, sped away.

According to court documents, Medina-Thomas hit several cars while speeding away, which caused an officer to crash into a wall. Eventually, the SUV stopped, and that’s when Jose, who was the front passenger, started shooting at the HSI agents with an “AK47 assault rifle.” Medina-Thomas was hit in the shooting and died on the spot.

The US Attorney’s Office says the shots fired by Jose hit an HSI agent in the shoulder and another shot grazed his head. They say the other rounds they fired narrowly missed hitting another HSI agent in the head.

The third person involved, then 23-year-old Valentina Valenzuela, was in the back seat of the SUV with the two undocumented migrants they were transporting. Valenzuela was sentenced to more than three years in prison in June 2021. Four officers involved in the shooting were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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