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Tag: Border Patrol

Jurors Deliberates Today in Trial of Border Patrol Charged with Killing Mexican Teen

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Jurors in the trial of a Border Patrol agent charged in the shooting death of a teenager in Mexico are set to begin deliberations Tuesday morning.

In closing arguments, prosecutors told the jury that Agent Lonnie Swartz fired his across the border in Nogales, Mexico, because he was fed up with people throwing rocks, the Associated Press reports. 

Defense attorneys countered that Swartz, who is charged with second-degree murder, feared for his and his fellow agents’ safety after he began hearing rocks striking the fence.

Swartz fired 16 shots, striking 16-year-old Elena Rodriguez wight times in the back and twice in the head.

Last week, Swartz testified for more than two hours, telling the jury that he heard rocks striking the fence and that a fellow agent had been injured. He added that an alleged drug smuggler, whom the rock-throwers were said to be protecting, had a large knife in his pocket.

“I was scared, scared to be hit by a rock, (scared) for my partner,” Swartz said. “I had to act quickly. I only had seconds to stop the threat.”

But the fellow agent testified earlier that he was not injured and that a rock rolled onto his foot.

Other Stories of Interest

Mistrial Declared in Stabbing Death of Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent

Hisaias Justo Lopez was on trial for allegedly murdering an off-duty Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a man accused of killing an off-duty Border Patrol agent.

The 12 jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict Friday in the murder trial of Hisaias Justo Lopez, who is accused of fatally stabbing Border Patrol Agent Isaac Morales on May 20, 2017, in the parking lot of the Union Draft House in East El Paso, the El Paso Times reports

Defense lawyers for Lopez argued Morales was drunk and the aggressor, forcing their client to defend himself.

Prosectors insisted Lopez started the fight unprovoked.

“I think there is no more deliberation,” the jury’s foreperson told the judge.

According to the El Paso Times, 10 jurors believed Lopez was guilty, and two thought he was not guilty.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether prosecutors would seek to retry Lopez.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agent Charged in Fatal Shooting of Teen in Mexico Testifies

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent on trial in the 2012 fatal shooting of a teenager across the Mexican border testified Monday that he shot through a fence in Nogales because he was protecting himself and his fellow law enforcement officers.

Lonnie Swartz, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 16-year-old Elena Rodriguez, testified Monday that he opened fire after a group of rock-throwers from Mexico struck a fellow agent, Tucson.com reports.

Prosecutors said Swartz fired 16 shots, striking the teenager 10 times, including eight times in the back and twice in the head.

Swartz testified for more than two hours, telling the jury that he heard rocks striking the fence and that a fellow agent had been injured. He added that an alleged drug smuggler, whom the rock-throwers were said to be protecting, had a large knife in his pocket.

“I was scared, scared to be hit by a rock, (scared) for my partner,” Swartz said. “I had to act quickly. I only had seconds to stop the threat.”

But the fellow agent testified earlier that he was not injured and that a rock rolled onto his foot.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Sexual Assault, Tampering with Evidence

Border Patrol Agent David Villarreal

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent in Laredo has been charged with sex assault, tampering with evidence and official oppression.

Agent David Villarreal turned himself into Laredo police last week after being served with arrest warrants, Laredo Morning Times reports

A woman in her 30s reported to police on March 26 that Villarreal sexually assaulted her.

Police declined to release more details.

Sara Melendez, Laredo Sector Border Patrol spokeswoman, said the agency is taking the allegations seriously.

“While it is CBP policy not to comment on an ongoing investigation, such actions will not be tolerated. CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission. CBP personnel perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” she said in a statement.

Congress Rejects Trump’s Plan to Dramatically Increase Agents to Combat Illegal Immigration

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Congress rejected President Trump’s push for a significant increase in the number of federal law enforcement officers to combat illegal immigration.

Trump called for a dramatic increase in the number of ICE and Border Patrol agents, but Congress declined the funding, citing the agencies’ admission that it could not reach the hiring goals, Government Executive reports

The 2018 omnibus spending bill called for funding 1,000 new ICE agents, but Congress approved the hiring of just 65 additional agents

Congress also rejected Trump’s proposal to hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and provided funding for just 500 new agents.

“The budget request for new Border Patrol agents, in particular, was not supported by any analysis of workload and capability gaps across CBP that would be necessary to evaluate the benefits of the proposal as compared to other investments,” congressional appropriators stated.

Both agencies have been unable to meet lofty hiring goals because of recruiting problems.

Other Stories of Interest

Columnist: Trump’s Pledge to Build 2,000-Mile Border Wall Is Pure Theater’

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s visit to California to inspect prototypes for a border wall was “pure theater” by a “performance artist.”

So wrote Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman, who argues Trump won’t come close to fulfilling his campaign pledge to build an impenetrable, 2,000-mile wall along the border and get Mexico to pay for it.

The length of the wall has already been cut in half – to 1,000 miles with large gaps.

“The cost would be enormous,” Chapman wrote. “An internal report by the Department of Homeland Security put the price at $21.6 billion. A study by the Democratic staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee calculaIted it at $70 billion, not counting maintenance.That’s more than $200 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. — and zero dollars for every man, woman and child in Mexico.”

Chapman said Trump’s claim that the wall would be “99%” effective “is enough to make a lizard laugh.”

The Congressional Research Service concluded the “primary fence” but in San Diego “by itself, did not have a discernible impact on the influx of unauthorized aliens coming across the border in San Diego.”

The Coast Guard also reported that 95% of drugs smuggled from Mexico to the U.S. come in container ships or other boats. And when there is a fence, drug dealers dig a tunnel to cross.

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 Agent Indicted for Allegedly Lying about Ties to Mexican Drug Traffickers

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent accused of lying twice about his ties to two Mexican drug traffickers has been indicted by a San Diego federal grand jury.

The indictment alleges Agent Ramon Delgado lied about his relationships with drug traffickers during an interview and in his pre-employment background questionnaire, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Delgado, 44, faces up to five years in prison on a count of making false statements to the federal government.

The investigation began following suspicions that Delgado assisted a drug trafficking organization that smuggled heron, meth and cocaine into the U.S. According to prosecutors, Delgado maintained a close relationship with the two drug traffickers while working for Border Patrol.