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Tag: Arizona

Border Patrol Agent Admits He ‘Intentionally Struck’ Migrant with Truck

Stock photo of a Border Patrol truck, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who intentionally struck a Guatemalan migrant with his truck in 2017 – and called immigrants “subhuman” – has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor civil rights charge.

Matthew Bowen, a 39-year-old agent stationed in Nogales, faces up to one year in prison after admitting he intentionally struck the 23-year-old migrant while arresting him for illegally crossing the border.

Bowen also has come under fire after text messages surfaced showing he called immigrants “subhuman” and “mindless murdering savages.”

Bowen, a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol, was placed on unpaid suspension in June 2018, shortly after he was indicted on assault charges. As part of a plea agree, Bowen will resign.

A video of the incident showed Bowen “accelerating aggressively” and striking Antolin Lopez Aguilar twice with the front of his truck. Bowen then arrested Lopez.

“During my apprehension of (Antonin Lopez Aguilar), I intentionally struck him with an unreasonable amount of force,” Bowen said, according to documents obtained by The Arizona Republic. “My actions when I struck A.L.-A. were not justified and violated his rights protected by the Constitution of the United States.”

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Smuggling Cocaine During His Night Shift

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A veteran Border Patrol agent is accused of paying drug traffickers $650,000 for 90 pounds of cocaine while working the night shift at a remote border crossing in southern Arizona. 

Ramon Antonio Monreal-Rodriguez was charged with conspiracy to smuggle cocaine in Tucson and on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, the Arizona Daily Star reports

Monreal-Rodriguez is accused of making cocaine purchases on Sept. 18 and Sept. 22 and keeping some of the drugs in his government-issued car until his shift ended.

The 32-year-old Vail resident, who worked at the Border Patrol’s station in Three Points, was arrested on Sept. 25 on charges of “conspiracy to make false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms and aiding and abetting the commission of such offenses.”

Monreal-Rodriguez resigned on the day he was arrested.

Human Smugglers Causing Humanitarian Crisis by Dumping Migrants Across the Border

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Human smugglers are causing a humanitarian crisis by bringing large groups of Central American migrants into America and then abandoning them, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

Since Aug. 20, Border Patrol agents made eight discoveries of groups of more than 100 documented immigrants, including children, walking in areas of southwest Arizona, AZCentral.com reports

The largest group was discovered on Sept. 20, when Yuma-based Border Patrol agents came across 275 adults and children, 20 of whom were taken to the hospital.

“With more family units being smuggled into these areas, agents must divert even greater resources to care and treat those harmed by the arduous journey,” Border Patrol said in a statement.

“Family units who might have previously presented themselves at ports of entry, are being shuttled by human smugglers into areas with limited infrastructure to illegally cross into Arizona,” the UCBP said in a press release issued Friday. “Multiple areas along the Yuma and Ajo corridors are being exploited by criminal organizations.”

Watch: Border Patrol Vehicle Erupts in Flames; Authorities Investigate Cause

Border Patrol vehicles erupts in flames.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol vehicle erupted in flames Tuesday afternoon in Tucson, Ariz., and it was all captured on video.

The fire broke out on eastbound Interstate 10.

The agent was able to escape the vehicle without injury.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating the cause.

DEA Warns of New Drug More Potent Than Fentanyl After Death

Carfentanil is chemically similar to the deadly opioid fentanyl but is stronger.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The DEA is warning about a highly potent and dangerous drug that has already claimed a life in Arizona.

Carfentanil, which is chemically similar to the deadly opioid fentanyl but is stronger, is used to tranquilize elephants and has “an analgesic potency 10,000 times that of morphine and is used in veterinary practice to immobilize certain large animals,” according to the DEA’s online fentanyl fact sheet

A 21-year-old man with carfentanil in his system was found dead in his car parked outside of a restaurant, according to the DEA’s Phoenix Field Division.

“The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s report confirmed the presence of carfentanil, yet the source of the carfentanil remains unknown,” according to the alert.

Drug dealers are adding carfentanil into heroin and other illicit drugs because it’s relatively cheap and highly potent.

“Carfentanil is an extremely dangerous drug and its presence in Arizona should be incredibly alarming for all of us, including the DEA and our law enforcement partners who continue to combat the opioid epidemic in this state,” Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of DEA in Arizona, told the AZFamily.com. http://www.azfamily.com/story/37968096/new-drug-on-arizonas-streets-dea-confirms-first-carfentanil-overdose-death

Border Patrol Agent Helps Save Life of Accident Victim in Arizona

Accident photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent was riding his bike in Douglas, Ariz., when he came across the twisted wreckage of pickup truck that had rolled off he road and ejected the driver.

The Douglas Station agent, with the help of another motorist, provided life-saving medical care to the ejected driver, Tucson News Now reports

The passers-by stabilized the driver until medics arrived and took the victim to a local hospital.

Agents are tough basic medical training throughout their careers to provide life-saving care.

Other Stories of Interest

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

Head of DEA’s Phoenix Division Faces Discipline over Relationship with Subordinate

Phoenix DEA Special Agent in Charge Douglas Coleman, via DEA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Douglas Coleman, the head of the Phoenix Division of the DEA, could soon be disciplined after an internal investigation concluded he had an “unprofessional personal relationship” with a subordinate.

The Justice Department Office of the Inspector General recently issued a scathing report about the relationship between Coleman and his administrative assistant and division spokeswoman Erica Curry, the Arizona Family reports

The investigation found that the self-described “best friends” engaged in an inappropriate romantic relationship that created the appearance of favoritism. Coleman, for example was Curry’s boss when she received bonuses, promotions, special accommodations and questionably high travel expenses.

The investigation concluded Coleman’s conduct amounted to misuse of office and the failure to maintain high standards of personal conduct.

With the report in hand, the DEA must now decide whether Coleman should be disciplined.

“The matter remains ongoing within the DEA disciplinary system and we cannot comment at this time,” a DEA spokeswoman said.