Man pleads guilty in Arizona on assault charge after throwing rocks at CBP helicopter

Apr 19, 2023, 8:00 PM

(Photo by Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)...

(Photo by Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A man pleaded guilty in Arizona to an assault charge after admitting he threw rocks at a Customs and Border Protection helicopter, authorities said.

Hugo Alexander Garcia-Sales, 22, of Guatemala, threw five softball-sized rocks at the helicopter on Oct. 13, 2022, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

One of the rocks came within feet of hitting the aircraft, but none made contact.

Garcia-Sales, as part of his plea agreement, admitted that hitting the helicopter with a rock could have caused it to crash.

He also admitted he wasn’t an American citizen and entered the country illegally.

Garcia-Sales faced one count of improper entry by an alien in addition to one count of assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon or dangerous incident.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 21.

Border Patrol conducted the investigation.

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Man pleads guilty in Arizona on assault charge after throwing rocks at CBP helicopter