A Queens man pleaded guilty to assaulting a Customs and Border Patrol officer after he was caught with marijuana "gummies" at the Peace Bridge, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York announced Wednesday.
Adriano Roberto Nunez, 27, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to forcibly assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating or interfering with a federal officer and causing bodily injury. Prosecutors said he kicked and pushed at least one officer after fleeing an inspection at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Fabian, who is handling the case, on June 3, 2019, Nunez was a passenger on a bus traveling from Canada into the United States at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry. Nunez and other passengers exited the bus at a Customs and Border Patrol checkpoint in the United States for re-entry into the United States.
During a search of Nunez's belongings, a CBP officer found gummy candies in a bag consistent with drug packaging, prosecutors said. While a CBP officer performed a field test on the gummies, another CBP officer asked Nunez to place his phone and passport on the table. Nunez did not place his phone on the table, officers said, and when the CBP officer attempted to retrieve the phone, Nunez resisted.
After the officer gained possession of the phone, Nunez fled into another area of the building, prosecutors said. Officers chased him and caught up with him in an area with no exit, where Nunez pushed and kicked at least one officer, who suffered scratches and abrasions on his knee and elbow.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. before Vilardo.