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Tag: Border Patrol

Border Patrol Agents Shoot Suspect Accused of Gunning Down a Man in El Paso

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agent shot a man near a Greyhound bus station in downtown El Paso.

KFOX 14 reports that agents heard gunshots near the bus station Thursday evening and rushed to the scene, where a man had been shot dead by another man.

Agents said they spotted the shooter running with a gun. He then pointed the gun at the agents, forcing them to open fire, according to a Border Patrol spokesman.

The suspect was taken to the hospital, where his condition was not immediately known.

“At this point it is a multiple agency investigation,” said El Paso Detective Mike Baranyay. “We are trying to identify additional witnesses. So until we get that all coordinated and conducted it will be a little premature for us to know exactly to know what caused the altercation.

Slate: Body Cameras Not Enough to Bring Transparency to Border Patrol

Border PatrolBy Bryce Clayton Newell
Slate

In November, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Richard Gil Kerlikowske announced that the agency would expand its body-worn camera deployment in the coming months, using the cameras in “law enforcement operations such as checkpoints, vessel boarding and interdictions, training environments, and outbound operations at ports of entry.” This is a modest expansion to the border control agency’s ongoing pilot program, and it comes in spite of an internal evaluation by the agency’s Body-Worn Camera Working Group recommending caution because, among other reasons, the cameras might distract officers, lower officer morale, and fail to work in the harsh climate that border agents work in along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Adopting body-worn cameras as part of a larger project to make the agency more transparent and accountable is potentially a step in the right direction. But without the implementation of proper policies for camera use and public disclosure of footage, it won’t do much to overcome the agency’s historical lack of transparency and its general resistance to releasing video footage to the public. Unless CBP commits to greater transparency and external oversight as part of its body-worn camera program, the cameras may become just another tool of government surveillance wielded by the state without adequate oversight.

In an independent review of agency response to cases of alleged abuse in 2013, investigators found that CBP agents have “deliberately stepped in the path of cars … to justify shooting at the drivers” and have repeatedly fired their weapons through the border fence at Mexican nationals on Mexican soil. (The review was commissioned by CBP, but the agency has tried to keep it from coming to light.) Another investigation found that across 42 agent-involved killings between 2005 and 2013, there has not been a single case in which an officer is “publicly known to have faced consequences.”

At the same time, CBP has also frequently withheld video evidence of agent-involved shootings, even in high-profile cases like the 2012 shooting of José Antonio Elena Rodriguez. In August 2015, a federal judge also sanctioned the agency for destroying video evidence that it was required to preserve during an ongoing civil rights lawsuit. Agent Lonnie Ray Swartz, the officer involved in the case of José Antonio, has recently become the first agent ever charged with murder for shooting a Mexican national through the border fence. However, CBP and the U.S. Justice Department have continually refused to release existing video of the incident to the public. Swartz repeatedly fired his weapon through the fence, hitting 16-year-old José Antonio 10 times, including eight times in the back (and possibly reloading in the process) as the youth was walking away from the officer, supposedly on his way home from a basketball game. Swartz claims it was self-defense.

To read more, click here. 

Border Patrol Agent Recovering After Being Struck by Football-Sized Rock

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In the latest attack against the Border Patrol, an agent was injured when he was struck by a football-sized rock near Nogales, Ariz., the Tucson News Now reports. 

The attack last week happened as agents were investigating a report of five people smuggling drugs across the border.

The group broke up in different directions as the agents converged.

The agent was attacked when he was just 10 feet from one of the suspects.

Despite bring injured, the agent still was able to arrest the suspect.

An estimated 150 pounds of marijuana was seized.

Border Patrol Agent Shoots Drug-Smuggling Suspect After Confrontation

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A physical confrontation with a Border Patrol agent didn’t end well for a suspected drug smuggler Monday morning near the Arizona-New Mexico border, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

The agent shot and wounded the suspect at about 10:45 a.m. in New Mexico

Agents were looking for suspects who fled a vehicle containing drugs when the incident began.

The suspect’s condition wasn’t immediately known, but the person was flown to an undisclosed hospital.

Border Patrol Agents Find 2,500 Pounds of Marijuana Stuffed inside Carrots

Fake carrots stuffed with marijuana, via CBP.

Fake carrots stuffed with marijuana, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents found 2,500 pounds of marijuana stuffed inside fake carrots that were being hauled across the Mexico border in Texas, Cleveland.com reports. 

A drug-sniffing dog detected marijuana in a tractor-trailer that was crossing the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

Border Patrol agents found the fake carrots that were mixed with real carrots.

The estimated value of the pot was $499,000, Customs and Border Protections said.

“Once again, drug smuggling organizations have demonstrated their creativity in attempting to smuggle large quantities of narcotics across the U.S./Mexico border,” Port Director Efrain Solis Jr. said in the news release. “Our officers are always ready to meet those challenges and remain vigilant towards any type of illicit activities.”

Border Patrol Agent, 4 Others Charged in Murder of Man Who Was Decapitated

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent is among a group of men charged in the death of a man whose decapitated body was found floating near South Padre Island in Texas, the Associated Press reports. 

Joel Luna, who was placed on indefinite leave from the Border Patrol, and four other men were indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday, charging them with capital murder, murder and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.

The defendants are lodged in the Cameron County jail without bond.

When Luna was arrested in March, law enforcement found nearly $90,000, a kilogram of cocaine and handguns inside his safe at his Hebbronville home.

In March, the decapitated body of Jose Francisco Palacios-Paz was found.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Sexually Assaulting a Potentially Drugged Minor

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent is accused of sexually assaulting a potentially drugged minor, NBC 7 San Diego reports.

Daniel Alfredo Spear, 45, has been arrested and charged with forcible lewd and lascivious acts on an underage person.

Spear is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the probe.

Details of the allegations have not yet been released.

Mexican Drug Traffickers Are Hacking Border Patrol Drones to Trick Agents

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug traffickers are hacking Border Patrol drones along the U.S.-Mexico border to confuse federal investigators, Hackread.com reports. 

Drones used by law enforcement are not as expensive and hack-proof like the ones flown by the U.S. military.

As Hackread.com explains it, “standard drone modules need to be deleted including the one that ensures the security of the drone in the case of GPS spoofing.”

What happens is, attackers send fake GPS data to receivers on the drone, making it difficult to track would-be traffickers.

Due to fake coordinates, federal agents are tricked into believing the drone is over one area when in fact it’s over an entirely different area.

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