Imperial County, California - A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging a Coachella man with allegedly assaulting a federal border patrol agent with his vehicle after evading inspection at a federal checkpoint.

Ivan Nieves, 20, was charged on Friday, November 14 with one count of forcibly assaulting the federal officer with a deadly weapon (his vehicle) and causing him bodily harm.

Nieves was arrested on the morning of November 3 following the alleged incident and charged in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Riverside, California. According to the complaint, Nieves was driving a Ford Mustang when he was questioned by federal border patrol agents at a checkpoint on Highway 86 in Imperial County, California. When Nieves was detained for further questioning by agents, he allegedly fled northbound at a high rate of speed, evading border patrol agents.

Following a pursuit at high rates of speed that involved multiple border patrol units north of Imperial County, Nieves allegedly attempted to strike a Border Patrol agent with the vehicle Nieves was driving at the intersection of Highway 86 & 81st Avenue in Riverside County. The victim, who suffered injuries to his hand, wrist, and knee, had been removing spikes from the roadway after a thwarted tactical attempt to stop Nieves’ vehicle.

Following the alleged assault, Nieves continued driving before he was ultimately stopped. Nieves was taken into custody after resisting arrest, according to the complaint. Responding Border Patrol agents found two firearms in the vehicle, one of which was loaded.

If convicted, Nieves faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

This investigation was conducted by the United States Department of Customs & Border Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigaiton. Nieves will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Riverside.