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Tag: Border Patrol

35 Border Patrol Agents Died Since 2003. How That Compares to Other Law Enforcement Officers

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol Agent Robert Hotten died in the line of duty on Sunday after authorities say he likely fell on rugged terrain in a remote part of the Arizona border.

His death highlights the dangers facing Border Patrol agents. Since 2003, 35 Border Patrol agents have died in the line of duty.

Cato Institute ran an analysis of the deaths to determine how agents are dying and whether their jobs are more dangerous than other law enforcement officers.

About half of the Border Patrol agents died in car accidents. Another 34% died in other kids of accidents, including drownings and from health issues. An additional 17% died from being assaulted or murdered.

Compared to other law enforcement officers, Border Patrol agents compared favorably. About one in 4,680 law enforcement officers died each year between 2003 and 2018. For Border Patrol, it’s one death for every 8,628 agents per year.

“Border Patrol agents volunteered for a job that routinely places them in danger. However, that heightened danger does not translate into a higher chance of dying in the line of duty compared to other police officers,” Cato Institute concluded. “Every unnecessary death is a tragedy, but it’s important to keep them in perspective when forming public policy.”

Nearly 1 Million Migrants Apprehended This Year, Most in 12 Years

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 1 million migrants were apprehended along the southern U.S. border during the government’s fiscal year that ended Sept. 31, an 88% increase over 2018.

“These numbers are numbers that no immigration system in the world is designed to handle, including ours,” CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said at a media briefing at the White House on Tuesday.

The number of unauthorized crossings is higher than any year in the past 12 year, a “staggering” increase, Morgan said.

The highest number of migrants taken into custody in one year is 1.6 million in 2000.

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.

Eyes in the Sky: How CBP Combats Drug Smuggling with Blimps

A CBP blimp, via Donna Burton of CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Blimps hovering 10,000 feet above the U.S. border are helping combat drug smuggling operations.

Customs and Border Protection is using eight unmanned, unarmed blimps as eyes in the sky as part of the agency’s Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS).

“TARS is the most cost-efficient capability that we own,” Richard Booth, director of domain operations and integration for CBP’s Office of Air and Marine, says on CBP’s website. “TARS is like a low-flying satellite system, but cheaper to launch and operate.”

The blimps “fly like kites in the wind,” said Rob Brown, CBP program manager for TARS.

“Raising radar and other sensors to high altitude boosts surveillance range, and the physical sight of an aerostat is a visual deterrent to illegal activity in the air and on the ground,” Brown said.

Drug smugglers often fly low to avoid ground-based radar, but they can’t evade the blimps’ radar.

Border Patrol Agent Acquitted on Sexual Assault Charge

Border Patrol Agent Alejandro Perez, via Hidalgo County Sheriff Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent accused of sexually assaulting his then-girlfriend in June 2013 has been found not guilty.

Alejandro Perez was assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Sector when he was arrested on sexual assault charges in 2018, KGBT reports.

His then-girlfriend reported the alleged assault nearly five years after she says he became “sexually aggressive towards her” and refused to stop when she said no.

“Alejandro later admitted to raping her through text but he asked her not to report it because he could lose his job,” the prosecutors alleged in a complaint.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Perez is still working as a Border Patrol agent. When he was arrested in March 2018, he was assigned to administrative duties.

Border Patrol Agent Shot in Texas During Routine Traffic Stop

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent was shot during a routine traffic stop Friday night near the U.S.-Mexico Border in Texas.

The agent’s partner returned fire, killing the suspect at the scene, ABC News reports.

The two agents and a deputy with the Kinney County Sheriff’s Department had pulled over a car near Brackettville, Texas, when a passenger opened fire.

The agent was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

CBP did not identify the agents or the suspects by name, but said the gunman was a 25-year-old man. The driver was a 32-year-old woman. Both are U.S. citizens.

“The agents and sheriff’s deputy requested medical assistance and rendered first aid, however the passenger of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene,” CBP said in a statement Saturday. “The injured agent was taken to a local hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening gunshot wound, and later transported by AirFlight to a San Antonio hospital.”

Border Apprehensions Sharply Decline in August. Officials Credit Beefed Up Enforcement

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol saw a significant decline in apprehensions in August, a rare decrease for the month.

The number of undocumented migrants detained for trying to cross the U.S. border in August dropped 22% over July. The decline was even more significant in the San Diego sector, where apprehensions dropped 43% compared to July.

Last year, August apprehensions were higher than July’s.

“This is not due to a seasonal decline,” Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison told reporters Thursday.

Harrison said the decline is likely due to more enforcement from partners, including the newly created Mexico National Guard.

“This is a welcome relief and an indication that our efforts and those of our partners are having significant positive effects,” Harrison said.

Prosecutors Clear Border Patrol Agents, Officers in Deadly Shooting in Las Cruces

Dashcam image via Las Cruces Police Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents, deputies and police officers will not be charged in connection with the shooting death of a suspect in the parking lot of a Las Cruces Home Depot, prosecutors told KRQE.

Investigators said the suspect, Francisco “Paco” Tarin, opened fire at a Las Cruces police officer who had responded to a June 17 call about a suspicious man threatening employees at a nearby Jack in the Box. While the officer drove himself to a hospital, a group of officers, deputies and border agents responded and found the suspect in the Home Deport parking lot.

After Tarin refused to surrender, he was shot with a non-lethe bean bag round. Tarin responded by shooting at the group of officers and agents, prompting them to return fire, killing the suspect.

The Officer-Involved Incident Task Force investigated the shooting and sent its findings to the district attorney’s office for review.

Doña Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio cleared the law enforcement officers of wrongdoing.