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Tag: agents

Border Patrol Agents Accused of Sabotaging Water, Supplies for Migrants

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents routinely sabotage containers of water and other supplies placed in the Arizona desert to save the lives of thirsty migrants overcome by heat exhaustion and dehydration, according to two humanitarian groups.

The Tucson-based groups claim the agents are essentially delivering a death sentence to people trekking the dangerously hot landscape in a shameless effort to crack down on people who illegally cross into the U.S. from Mexico, the Guardian reports

Volunteers identified more than 400 vandalized water containers along an 800-square-mile patch of Sonoran desert near Tucson from March 2012 to December 2014, according to the report, published by No More Deaths and La Coalición de Derechos Humanos

The groups also accused Border Patrol agents of vandalizing food and blankets and intimidating human rights volunteers.

“Through statistical analysis, video evidence, and personal experience, our team has uncovered a disturbing reality. In the majority of cases, US border patrol agents are responsible for the widespread interference with essential humanitarian efforts,” the study found.

The study added, “The practice of destruction of and interference with aid is not the deviant behavior of a few rogue border patrol agents, it is a systemic feature of enforcement practices in the borderlands.”

Steve Passament, a border patrol spokesman in the Tucson sector, said the agency strongly opposes sabotaging humanitarian supplies and plans to discipline any agents who risk the lives of human beings.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agents Tricked into Providing Protection for Convicted Drug Smuggler

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents are furious that they were tricked into providing “armed security for a cartel wedding” of a convicted drug smuggler who has been banned from Mexico.

The groom, Brian Houston, is awaiting sentencing after he was accused of smuggling large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine in February.

“The agents are upset, feel like they were taken advantage of, feel like they were duped,” Joshua Wilson, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Turns out we provided armed security for a cartel wedding.”

The wedding took place at steel border gate that enables people who cannot cross the border to meet for about three minutes each.

“It’s a statement that love has no borders,” Houston told the newspaper.

A Border Patrol screening did not show any criminal activity, so agents were unaware they were protecting a convicted drug smuggler.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Agents Strike Back Against Trump’s Attacks on Bureau

FBI photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Active and retired FBI agents are not shying away from President Trump’s continuing rhetoric that the bureau’s “reputation is in tatters.”

“Attacks on our character and demeaning comments will not deter Agents from continuing to do what we have always done—dedicate our lives to protecting the American people,” the FBI Agents Association, FBIAA, said in a statement on Tuesday, without mentioning Trump by name, Fortune reports.

On Dec. 3, Trump tweeted about the FBI: “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.”

The FBI Agents Association listed hundreds of cases that have been solved by hard-working agents to make the country safer.

“Controversies of the day fade, but the sworn duty of Special Agent endures,” the statement reads. “Special Agents are focused on the Constitution and protecting the public. Their works should be recognized, not denigrated.”

Border Patrol Agent’s Death Remains a Mystery a Month Later

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The troubling, mysterious death of a Border Patrol agent and the serious injuries of his partner have remained unsolved a month after Agent Rogelio “Roger” Martinez was found dead near Van Horn, Texas.

Martinez’s fiancée Angela Ochoa believes the best source of information on what happened may be the survive agent, Stephen “Michael” Garland. Trouble is, Garland has told investigators he can’t remember what happened.

“I mean, I know he saw something,” Ochoa told CNN. “I know he knows. But what he knows, I can’t tell you. I don’t know.” 

President Trump and the agents’ union quickly blamed violent, undocumented immigrants, saying they struck the agents with rocks.

But the FBI and local authorities have not found evidence of an attack and believe the agents may have fallen accidentally into a ravine.

CBP Hires Private Company to Help Hire 5,000 Border Patrol Agents

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection is paying a private company $297 million to help hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents.

The move is part of President Trump’s push to put more agents on the ground to protect against illegal immigration.

Since Border Patrol is struggling to meet the hiring mandate, it’s turning to a division of Accenture, an international professional services corporation, for a five-year contract, the San Diego Union Tribune reports

The Union-Tribune wrote:

The scope of work in the contract requires the company to manage “the full life cycle of the hiring process” from job posting to processing new hires. The company, the agency said in email response to questions, will augment the agency’s existing internal hiring programs.

It also calls for a “hard-hitting, targeted recruitment campaign consisting of promoting the CBP law enforcement careers and opportunities” and a public education campaign about CBP and Border Patrol jobs.

Accenture wil be paid to assist hiring 5,000 Border Patrol agents, as well as 2,000 customs officers and 500 agents for the Office of Air and Marine Operations. The award was made on Nov. 17, with Accenture being selected above four other bidders, federal contract records show.

To skeptics of the hiring push, the Accenture contract makes little sense. “They’re spending almost $40,000 per hire,” said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a Libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C. “Just off the bat that seems like a pretty desperate move.”

Other Stories of Interest

Sheriff: Truck May Have Caused Fatal Injuries to Border Patrol Agent

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although President Trump quickly declared that two Border Patrol agents were brutally beaten by rocks in Texas last month, a local sheriff says the pair may have been struck by a tractor-trailer.

Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo told the Dallas Morning News he believes a tractor-trailer may have accidentally hit them.

Rogelio Martinez, 36, and his partner were found in a ravine along a treacherous stretch of land near Van Horn in West Texas, about 30 miles from the Mexican border.

Martinez died soon after following traumatic head injuries and broken memories. His partner, who has yet to be identified, reportedly can’t remember what happened and remains hospitalized.

“From the beginning we were radioed to assist in the incident as an injury, not an assault,” Carrillo said. “That’s the way it was communicated to us.”

A day after the injuries were reported, Trump tweeted, “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

Trump added that the surviving agent had been “badly beaten.”

The union that represents Border Patrol agents, the National Border Patrol Council, suggested the agents were attacked.

But local authorities and the FBI are more skeptical.

The FBI is now offering a $45,000 reward for information leading to what caused the injuries and death.  

Trump, Breitbart & Conservatives May Have Lied about Border Patrol Agent’s Death

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The details surrounding the death and serious injuries of two Border Patrol agents on the night of Nov. 18 were almost immediately blamed on stone-throwing immigrants.

But the FBI and other investigators are skeptical, saying the agents may have fallen into a ravine. 

Nevertheless, President Trump, Texas politicians and the right-wing site Breitbart spun a tale that claimed Rogelio Martinez, 36, died from injuries sustained in an attack. His partner was critically injured.

A day after the injuries were reported, Trump tweeted, “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

Trump added that the surviving agent had been “badly beaten,” The Texas Observer points out

The union that represents Border Patrol agents, the National Border Patrol Council, suggested the agents were attacked, though Breitbart acknowledged in its story that “details on the matter are scarce.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, with no information to back up the story, added to the rhetoric, saying the agent had been “killed” in what is “a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them.”

The Culberson County Sheriff’s office, which is working with the FBI task force, told the Dallas Morning News on November 20 that the evidence he saw was “very consistent with a fall.”

The Observer wrote:

Top Texas Republicans, however, weren’t going to let ambiguity get in the way of a good story. The state’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn, was marginally more measured than Cruz, telling a radio interviewer that “at least preliminarily” the incident was an “ambush by drug traffickers,” though he added that the details were unconfirmed. Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, went even further, introducing the idea that “murder” had occurred. In a press release, he announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of those responsible for Martinez’s “murder,” which Breitbart quickly turned into a story: “Texas Governor Offers $20,000 for Info on ‘Murder’ of Border Patrol Agent.”

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton joined in as well, both sharing inflammatory articles published shortly after the incident. Patrick selected a Fox News article headlined: “Border agent killed, partner injured by illegal immigrants using rocks, report says.” The supposed “report,” the reader finds, is just a quote from a Border Patrol union official given to another media outlet. Paxton chose Breitbart as his own source.

It’s entirely possible that the Breitbart version of events will turn out to be true, but more than a week after the incident became public, the FBI has yet to release any additional information. Jeanette Harper, a spokesperson for the agency’s El Paso field office, told the Observer on Tuesday that the agency is currently looking into tips. She said it would likely be a while before they could say anything further.

Judge Drops Child Pornography Case, Saying FBI Misrepresented Facts

Best Buy, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge dismissed child pornography charges against a California doctor whose computer was searched following a repair by Best Buy’s Geek Squad because the FBI agent made “several false or misleading statements or omissions... with reckless disregard for the truth” in a search warrant affidavit, The Washington Post reports

The pornography case was triggered by the Geek Squad’s discovery of a photo of a naked girl, believed to be 9 years old. She was not involved in a sex act, and her genitals were not shown.

Technicians tipped off the FBI.

But U.S.District Judge Cormac J. Carney said the FBI misrepresented the case in obtaining a search warrant for the home and computers of oncologist Mark Rettenmaier. Agents found hundreds of pornographic photos on his iPhone.

Carney concluded the search was illegal because FBI agents received the warrant by inaccurately saying “the image was child pornography.” The judge said the photo was “one image of child erotica” and that it “is simply not sufficient to search Dr. Rettenmaier’s entire home, the place where the protective court of the Fourth Amendment is most powerful.”