Man who refused to answer citizenship questions at checkpoint sentenced
By Matthew Nelson
Laredo Morning Times
A man who refused to answer citizenship questions at a Border Patrol checkpoint north of Laredo, and turned his semi-tractor off in protest, was sentenced to three years probation and six months house arrest Friday for obstructing the checkpoint’s commercial lane.
Cosme Cortez Jr. was also charged with providing fictitious statements because, after he was arrested for resisting, opposing, impeding and intimidating government officers, Cortez claimed he had told officers he was a U.S. citizen.
The criminal complaint, however, states Cortez repeatedly denied any request to answer any questions asked by Border Patrol agents and never said whether he was a citizen or not.
“I don’t have to answer any of your questions,” Cortez said, the criminal complaint states.
He repeated this a second time, then turned off the semi-tractor he was driving, a federal offense because it impedes the agents’ ability to perform inspections.