HARDIN COUNTY — A Honduran man was sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to being and illegal immigrant in possession of a firearm.

42-year-old Santos Alfredo Paz-Ruiz was confronted by an off-duty police officer and pulled out a handgun, Firing it. The officer then tackled Paz-Ruiz and during the struggle, the gun fired again, hitting the officer's son in the ankle.

From the District Attorney's Office...

A 42-year-old Honduran national illegally in the United States has been sentenced to federal prison for firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.

Santos Alfredo Paz-Ruiz pleaded guilty on May 10, 2018, to being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.

According to information presented in court, on Nov. 4, 2017, Paz-Ruiz was confronted by an off-duty law enforcement officer for driving erratically on a rural road in Hardin County, Texas. During the confrontation, Paz-Ruiz brandished a hand gun and fired a shot. Paz-Ruiz was then tackled by the off-duty officer’s son and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the firearm discharged striking the off-duty officer’s son in the ankle. The injury was not life-threatening. Further investigation revealed Paz-Ruiz was illegally in the United States and prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. Paz-Ruiz was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan 10, 2018 and charged with firearms violations.

This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke.