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Tag: Arizona

Secret Service Agent Participates in 100K Race While Battling Cancer

Javelina Hundred Endurance Run, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Just a month after Secret Service Agent Rodney Wellman began radiation for tumors that spread to his brain, the 49-year-old father took part in a grueling 100K race in the Arizona desert.

His goal was to challenge himself and to raise awareness about lung cancer.

Last October, Wellman became seriously ill. Believing he had a bad chest cold, he went to see a doctor and learned he had stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to his brain and lymph nodes.

The diagnosis shocked him because he had never smoked. Now he wants people to know that even non-smokers can get lung cancer.

“People automatically assume that people who have lung cancer must have smoked, and you did this to yourself,” Wellman told Runner’s World. “There’s a lot of people like me where that is not the case, yet it seems to get pushed down the funding lists.”

Wellman began training for the Javelina Hundred Endurance Run, a difficult trek for even veteran runners. Some of his Secret Service colleagues joined him. The idea was to raise money for lung cancer awareness and research.

Over the weekend, Wellman gave it a go. About three-quarters into the run, he had to stop because of severe cramping.

“This is a long fight, and we’re just getting started,” Wellman told CBS News.

Border Patrol Agent Dies During Search in Rugged Terrain at Arizona Border

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent died Sunday after fellow agents found him unresponsive in a remote part of the Arizona border east of Nogales.

Agent Robert Hotten, 44, was responding to a ground sensor that appeared to be triggered by a group of migrants near Mount Washington. When Hotten didn’t answer his radio, his fellow agents began searching for him and eventually found him at about 4:15 p.m., Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal said at a Monday news conference.

The FBI is investigating, but Villareal said “it appears” Hotten had fallen on rugged terrain.

“When Agent Hotten was found unresponsive, it appears that he had fallen and may have hit his head on some rocks, but again at this stage we don’t know that was the cause of death,” Villareal said.

Responding agents provided first aid and performed CPR for about two hours before carrying him out of the mountainous terrain to be airlifted.

“Tucson Sector is grieving today and our condolences are with Agent Hotten’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time,” Villareal said in a news release. “Our agents are assigned a dangerous mission in keeping our nation safe, and they risk their lives every day in the line-of-duty. I cannot express the sadness we feel when we lose one of our own. Even as we grieve, we will continue to put service before self and honor first. I thank the brave men and women who take this risk in service to our country.”

Hotten joined the Border Patrol on Sept. 10, 2009. He is survived by his wife, son, mother and brother.

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.

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