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Tag: Arizona

Border Patrol Reverts to Quick Deportations to Protect Agents from Coronavirus

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona is reverting to quick deportations to protect agents from the coronavirus.

In the past, many people who illegally crossed the border were incarcerated and prosecuted.

Now, agents are deporting undocumented immigrants in “a matter of minutes,” Border Patrol spokesman Daniel Hernandez tells Arizona Public Media.

Instead of arresting migrants, they receive masks and a background check in the field before they are returned to a port of entry and deported.

It wasn’t immediately clear who many people have been deported this way or whether any of the undocumented immigrants were infected with the coronavirus.

Coronavirus Fears Don’t Stop Construction of the Border Wall in Arizona

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Construction on the wall on the Arizona border with Mexico has not stopped as the coronavirus outbreak spreads rapidly across the U.S.

Work crews are filling up motels, Airbnbs and mobile home camps in the town of Ajo, while nonessential construction has stopped in most of the country, The New York Times reports.

The theory is that the wall will prevent the spread of the virus from Mexico to the U.S., even though health experts are skeptical.

In the meantime, residents in Ajo are worried that the influx of workers make them more susceptive to the coronavirus.

“This administration’s priority is to get the wall done. The rest of us might as well be damned,” Ajo resident Maria Singleton told the Times.

According to an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Raini Brunson, the agency is following “government and CDC guidelines” as construction increases.

“As the guidance changes, decisions will be made as to how contractor employees will be affected,” Brunson added.

Quick-Acting, Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Saves Life of Bicycle Accident Victim in Arizona

Border Patrol Agent Travis J. Carter, via CBP

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A quick-acting, off-duty Border Patrol agent is being credited with saving the life of a bicycle accident victim in Yuma, Ariz.

Border Patrol Agent Travis J. Carter was watching his daughter’s soccer practice when he heard about a car striking a bicyclist down the road.

The agent sprinted to the accident scene and found an unconscious man in the middle of the road with a large laceration in the victim’s femoral artery.

Carter, with the help of a bystander, applied pressure to the wound to slow the bleeding from a wound that reached the victim’s thigh bone. When police arrived, the agent used a tourniquet on the victim’s leg until paramedics arrived.

The victim was rushed to Yuma Regional Medical Center, where he was in stable condition.

“These are the reasons why I joined this agency, acquiring the platform and training necessary to make a difference in the lives of the ones I come in contact with,” Carter says in a news release. “We do not have the advantage of choosing the type of situations we respond to, but we do have the benefit of choosing how we respond.”

Yuma Sector’s Acting Chief Patrol Agent Carl Landrum applauded Carter’s actions.

“Agent Carter’s quick thinking, ability to react in high-stress situations and preparedness saved this man’s life,” said Yuma Sector’s Acting Chief Patrol Agent Carl Landrum. “His expertise and training highlights the adaptability and first-response capabilities of U.S. Border Patrol agents in our community—on and off duty, I’m proud of Agent Carter’s actions.”

Former Border Patrol Agent Who Helped Drug Traffickers Gets 6 Years in Prison

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent in Arizona was sentenced to six years in prison after admitting he helped drug traffickers cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Jose Antonio Yanez, 50, was also ordered to pay more than $340,000 of his salary back while conspiring with traffickers, KVOA reports.

Yanez had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana, receiving a bribe, and importation of a schedule IV controlled substance. At the time, Yanez was working at Border Patrol’s Douglas and Naco stations.

According to prosecutors, Yanez assisted smugglers carrying marijuana by providing sensitive material and information, turning cameras away from the smugglers and vacating his area of responsibility as the smuggling vehicles crossed the border.

Lawsuit Challenging Conditions at Border Patrol Detention Centers Goes to Trial

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A trial is set to begin today over conditions at detention centers at several of Border Patrol’s stations in Arizona.

The case involves a lawsuit filed in 2015 that challenges what attorneys say are unsafe and deplorable conditions at eight Border Patrol facilities in Arizona, The New York Times reports.

The lawsuit was filed four years before the surge in immigrants last year caused even bigger problems at the facilities, which activists say are inhume.

Photos used as evidence in the case show men packed under an aluminum blanket, rusty toilets, soiled toiled paper, and women changing a baby’s diaper on a concrete floor littered with trash.

“We’re talking about ensuring that the government is meeting constitutional standards when it comes to the detention of people in these facilities,” said Victoria López, advocacy and legal director for the ACLU of Arizona, one of the organizations involved in the suit.

Border Patrol didn’t respond to questions from The New York Times.

Homeland Security Agents Reportedly Paid for Sex Acts by Trafficking Victims

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Two Homeland Security agents investigating a transnational network of illegal massage parlors engaged in sex acts with the alleged victims in two Arizona cities, according to reports uncovered by Today’s News-Herald.

The reports indicate two agents participated in sex acts at massage parlors at least 10 times with Asian immigrants who were forced into sex slavery.

The two-year trafficking investigation began in 2016, when police were tipped off about several massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City in Arizona. When local police departments found evidence that some of the employees may have been victims of human trafficking, they called in the Department of Homeland Security.

According to investigative reports, the agents negotiated prices for hand jobs and other sex acts.

In September 2018, police arrested eight people on charges of sex trafficking, money laundering, and operating a house of prostitution.

But charges against two of the suspects were dismissed last week because the two federal agents refused to testify.

Homeland Security officials did not respond to questions about why the agents didn’t show up.

One of the women arrested in the case filed a lawsuit 0n Sept. 30 in an attempt to get more information from Homeland Security, including the disclosure of the agents’ identifies and all reports generated during the probe.

Homeland Security Discovers Long Tunnel Used to Smuggle Drugs in Nogales

Tunnel entrance, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Investigations special agents found an 82-foot-long tunnel that has been used for a few months to smuggle drugs near Nogales, Ariz.

Agents on the Border Enforcement Security Task Force were executing a search warrant when they discovered the tunnel, according to KOUN9-TV.

The tunnel, which was 8-feet-deep and had a ventilation system, led from a house in Nogales to a wastewater pipeline in Rio Rico, Ariz.

The tunnel appeared to have been used by Mexican nationals, two of whom were arrested on charges of possession and conspiracy to distribute hard narcotics.

Agents seized 200 pounds of meth, more than 6.5 pounds of fentanyl, nearly two pounds of heroin, and nearly three pounds of cocaine.

 

Two Border Patrol Agents Assaulted in Southern Arizona within 24-Hour Period

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Two Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona were assaulted in a pair of unrelated incidents within 24 hours of each other.

Both agents work out of the Tucson sector.

The first attack occurred Thursday evening when a 24-year-old Guatemalan man, who illegally entered the U.S., struck an agent before being taken into custody, Tucson.com reports.

On Friday afternoon, a 22-year-old Phoenix man tried to run down another agent in a vehicle before crashing into the agent’s SUV.

Both men will be prosecuted under federal assault charges.

Neither agent was seriously injured.