A former U.S. Border Patrol agent charged with running over a Guatemalan migrant with his truck along the Arizona-Mexico border and then lying about it has pleaded guilty and can face up to a year in prison, reports Arizona Central.
Matthew Bowen, 39, a 10-year veteran agent stationed in Nogales, had previously referred to migrants as “disgusting subhuman s— unworthy of being kindling for a fire” and had prior accusations against him for using excessive force against migrants, federal prosecutors said in court documents.
Bowen agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for violating the rights of Antonin Lopez Aguilar, a 23-year-old migrant from Guatemala.
Bowen acknowledged that he had intentionally run over the migrant on Dec. 3, 2017, after he had tried to detain him after entering the U.S. illegally near Nogales.
“During my apprehension of (Antonin Lopez Aguilar), I intentionally struck him with an unreasonable amount of force. My actions when I struck A.L.-A. were not justified and violated his rights protected by the Constitution of the United States,” Bowen admitted, according to the document detailing the deal with prosecutors.
As part of the plea deal, Bowen also agreed to resign immediately from the Border Patrol where he had been placed on indefinite suspension without pay since his indictment in June 2018.
The news outlet reports that Bowen faces up to $100,000 in fines, could spend up to a year in prison, and up to five years of probation.