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Tag: death

Death of Border Patrol Agent’s Death Remains a Hotly Contested Rumor

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump was quick to exploit the death of a Border Patrol agent by suggesting – without evidence – that he was killed by illegal immigrants. Other conservative lawmakers made the same premature conclusion.

But a month after Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found in a ravine in West Texas and later died, local and federal law enforcement said they still don’t know what prompted the death and added it may have been an accident. Martinez’s partner was severely injured and can’t remember what happened.

Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo told the Dallas Morning News that the men may have been hit by a truck on a nearby interstate.

“If this was an assault, believe me, as sheriff, I’d be the first one out there emphasizing safety in our community and with our deputies, pairing them up,” he told the newspaper. “But from what I know and see, that was not the case here.”

The theory that the agents were attacked began with the National Border Patrol Council, the border agents’ union. Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for the union, called Carrillo a “dingbat.”

“All these other theories, it’s tarnishing the name of our agents,” he said in an interview with the New York Times

Border Patrol Agent’s Death Remains a Mystery a Month Later

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling

The troubling, mysterious death of a Border Patrol agent and the serious injuries of his partner have remained unsolved a month after Agent Rogelio “Roger” Martinez was found dead near Van Horn, Texas.

Martinez’s fiancée Angela Ochoa believes the best source of information on what happened may be the survive agent, Stephen “Michael” Garland. Trouble is, Garland has told investigators he can’t remember what happened.

“I mean, I know he saw something,” Ochoa told CNN. “I know he knows. But what he knows, I can’t tell you. I don’t know.” 

President Trump and the agents’ union quickly blamed violent, undocumented immigrants, saying they struck the agents with rocks.

But the FBI and local authorities have not found evidence of an attack and believe the agents may have fallen accidentally into a ravine.

Trump, Breitbart & Conservatives May Have Lied about Border Patrol Agent’s Death

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling

The details surrounding the death and serious injuries of two Border Patrol agents on the night of Nov. 18 were almost immediately blamed on stone-throwing immigrants.

But the FBI and other investigators are skeptical, saying the agents may have fallen into a ravine. 

Nevertheless, President Trump, Texas politicians and the right-wing site Breitbart spun a tale that claimed Rogelio Martinez, 36, died from injuries sustained in an attack. His partner was critically injured.

A day after the injuries were reported, Trump tweeted, “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

Trump added that the surviving agent had been “badly beaten,” The Texas Observer points out

The union that represents Border Patrol agents, the National Border Patrol Council, suggested the agents were attacked, though Breitbart acknowledged in its story that “details on the matter are scarce.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, with no information to back up the story, added to the rhetoric, saying the agent had been “killed” in what is “a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them.”

The Culberson County Sheriff’s office, which is working with the FBI task force, told the Dallas Morning News on November 20 that the evidence he saw was “very consistent with a fall.”

The Observer wrote:

Top Texas Republicans, however, weren’t going to let ambiguity get in the way of a good story. The state’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn, was marginally more measured than Cruz, telling a radio interviewer that “at least preliminarily” the incident was an “ambush by drug traffickers,” though he added that the details were unconfirmed. Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, went even further, introducing the idea that “murder” had occurred. In a press release, he announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of those responsible for Martinez’s “murder,” which Breitbart quickly turned into a story: “Texas Governor Offers $20,000 for Info on ‘Murder’ of Border Patrol Agent.”

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton joined in as well, both sharing inflammatory articles published shortly after the incident. Patrick selected a Fox News article headlined: “Border agent killed, partner injured by illegal immigrants using rocks, report says.” The supposed “report,” the reader finds, is just a quote from a Border Patrol union official given to another media outlet. Paxton chose Breitbart as his own source.

It’s entirely possible that the Breitbart version of events will turn out to be true, but more than a week after the incident became public, the FBI has yet to release any additional information. Jeanette Harper, a spokesperson for the agency’s El Paso field office, told the Observer on Tuesday that the agency is currently looking into tips. She said it would likely be a while before they could say anything further.

Honduran National Dies in Federal Custody in California

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Steve Neavling

A 46-year-old immigrant died while in federal custody in North Hollywood, a neighborhood in Los Angeles.

City News Service reports that the man died last week after collapsing while playing soccer at the Adelanto Detention Facility. 

Vicente Caceres-Maradiaga, a Honduran national, was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead after 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Caceres-Maradiaga was arrested on May 22.

“His removal case was pending before the immigration courts at the time of his death,” according to an ICE statement. “Records indicate that Mr. Caceres, who was never lawfully admitted to the U.S., has had two prior criminal convictions since 2011, one for DUI and one for fraud.”

Authorities said the preliminary cause of death was acute coronary syndrome.

Caceres-Maradiaga became the ninth ICE detainee to die in the agency’s custody during the 2016-17 fiscal year, which started on Oct. 1.

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime: Life and Death in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Border Patrol Chase Ends with 1 Dead, 10 injured in Laredo, Texas

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol chase ended with one person dead and 10 injured near Laredo, Texas.

Agents were chasing a pickup off of I-35 at about 5:45 p.m. Sunday, MySA reports. 

The driver lost control when he tried to dodge a tire-deflation device.

It was unclear who was killed in the truck.

The injured were taken to hospitals in Laredo, San Antonio and Dilley.

Other Stories of Interest

Judge: Border Patrol Not Liable in Shooting Death of 19-Year-Old U.S. Citizen

Carlos LaMadrid was shot by a Border Patrol agent.

Carlos LaMadrid was shot by a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent who fatally shot a man near the order fence in Douglas, Ariz., used justified force, a judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge James A. Soto said Agent Lucas Tidwell was not liable for the death of a 19-year-old U.S. citizen during a March 2011 shooting, reports. 

The death of Carlos LaMadrid prompted a civil lawsuit by his mother. The suit claims Tidwell was “grossly negligent” when he shot an unarmed LaMadrid.

The judge said Tidwell only fired his gun after rocks were thrown at him.

“A reasonable person in Tidwell’s position would believe that he was facing unlawful deadly physical force where rocks the size of softballs or bricks are being thrown from 15 feet away and 10 feet above you directly at your head at 50 to 60 miles per hour,” Soto wrote.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA Helps Investigate Prince’s Death After Prescription Painkillers Found

Prince, via Wikipedia.

Prince, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

The DEA has been called to help investigate the death of pop superstar Prince after authorities allegedly found prescription painkillers when the musician died.

Newsweek reports that the drugs were found in Prince’s possession at his Paisley Park recording facility and at his home near Minnesota.

It’s still unclear whether the prescription medication played a role in the singer’s death.

The DEA is being asked to determine where the drugs came from and whether Prince had prescriptions for the medication.

Prince’s longtime lawyer L. Londell McMillan insisted the musician was “not on any drugs that would be any cause for concern.”

He said: “Everybody who knows Prince knows he wasn’t walking around drugged up. That’s foolish. No one ever saw Prince and said: ‘He looks high.’ It wasn’t what he was about.”