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Tag: El Paso

El Paso’s Border Patrol Chief Being Sent to Detroit Amid Blistering Report

Conditions at one of the El Paso stations, via IG.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Aaron Hull, the controversial chief of the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, is being sent to Detroit following reports of unsafe and unsanitary conditions in border stations in El Paso.

Hull will be replaced by Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez, who is head of the El Centro Sector in California, NBC News first reported.

Customs and Border Protection declined to say why Hull was reassigned, but the move comes after a blistering report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General. The conditions were so deplorable that agents were beginning to arm themselves because they feared a riot.

The IG report documented overcrowded cells, a lack of showers or clean clothes, outbreaks of lice, flu, chickenpox and scabies, and more than half of the immigrants being held outside. Babies had no clean clothing or soft mats on which to sleep.

“With limited access to showers and clean clothing, detainees were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks,” the report said.

The report also cited declining morale among agents who were worried about riots or hunger strikes. Some agents were even considering retiring early or moving to another agency.

“The current situation where immigrants are simply giving themselves up to the border patrol [and border patrol must detain] is causing low morale and high anxiety. They are seeing more drinking, domestic violence and financial problems among their agents,” the report said.

Despite the documented evidence, DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan insisted that news reports about poor conditions for children at the facility were “unsubstantiated.”

Hull also defended Border Patrol agents, saying he was “impressed” with their handling of an influx of migrants.

A Homeland Security official told NBC News that Hull has a reputation as a “law and order” chief who often acts on his own without permission from his superiors.

Email: Border Agents Forced Migrant to Walk with ‘I like men’ Sign

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection agents are accused of trying to humiliate a migrant by forcing him to walk around wearing a sign that read, “I like men,” in Spanish, according to emails obtained by CNN.

The March 5 incident is one of several episodes revealed in emails by an agent who accused colleagues of repeated incidents of inappropriate behavior.

“I am forwarding to the Office of Professional Responsibility, the office charged with looking into these allegations,” a CBP official told CNN.

The Honduran man was visibly upset as he was paraded around other detainees at an El Paso processing center, according to the email.

The agent who blew the whistle to a supervisor said CBP took no action.

The report is just the latest discovery of offensive behavior by border agents, and a lack of discipline by supervisors.

Agents Fear Riots Because of Deplorable Conditions at Border Station

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The conditions were so deplorable at an El Paso border station that agents were beginning to arm themselves because they feared a riot, according to an internal report by the Homeland Security’s Inspector General.

Despite the documented evidence, DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Friday insisted that news reports about poor conditions for children at the facility were “unsubstantiated.”

The IG report, first obtained by NBC News, documented overcrowded cells, a lack of showers or clean clothes, outbreaks of lice, flu, chickenpox and scabies, and more than half of the immigrants being held outside. Babies had no clean clothing or soft mats on which to sleep.

“With limited access to showers and clean clothing, detainees were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks,” the report said.

The report also cited declining morale among agents who were worried about riots or hunger strikes. Some agents were even considering retiring early or moving to another agency.

“The current situation where immigrants are simply giving themselves up to the border patrol [and border patrol must detain] is causing low morale and high anxiety. They are seeing more drinking, domestic violence and financial problems among their agents,” the report said.

Border Patrol, ICE Criticized for Handling of Surge in Migrants Crossing Border

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Detention facilities are overflowing with migrants because of the surge in people, many of them children, crossing the southern border illegally, and Border Patrol is struggling to handle the crisis.

More than 200,000 migrants illegally crossed the southern border in March and April, and more than two-thirds of them were either children or adults with children, according to UPI.

“Our immigration system is full, and we are well beyond our capacity at every stage of the process,” Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told a House committee last week.

Many of those crossing are seeking asylum, forcing ICE to release them to a network of migrant shelters in communities along the border. But with insufficient space, Border Patrol is beginning to release asylum seekers into border communities, often with little to no warning.

That new policy has rattled volunteer coordinators who try to house and feed the migrants.

“Sometimes the agents tell us to expect 50 migrants, but we end up with 150. Other times, a bus filled with migrants will show up unannounced at a shelter,” said Ashley Heidebrecht, a social work student and intern at the Borderlands Rainbow Coalition, a nonprofit that provides meals to migrants.

El Paso’s Hope Border Institute, a think tank that supports the humane treatment of migrants, has criticized the Border Patrol’s handling of the surge.

“The Border Patrol is not thinking strategically,” Dylan Corbett, director of the think tank, told UPI. “The agency doesn’t seem to have any goals and is just operating as things come up, day to day. I really don’t know who is calling the shots.”

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent May Have Acted in Self-Defense in Fatal Shooting

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent suspected of fatally shooting a 33-year-old man over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, may have been acting in self-defense, a spokesman told the El Paso Times on Thursday. 

Police were called to an aggravated assault at 4:30 a.m. Sunday when they found Juan Daniel Jacques shot to death.

Authorities identified the agent as Luis Chavez, who has not been arrested but is under investigation by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

“The exact details of this case are still under investigation,” sheriff’s spokesman Luis Chavez said. “We are investigating all motives of this homicide, to include the possibility of self-defense. No arrests have been made as of yet.” 

Border Patrol leaders also are investigating to determine whether administrative action is warranted against the agent.

Departing DEA Leader in El Paso Warns of Cartels Smuggling Heroin, Meth to U.S.

Getting HighBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the leader of the DEA in El Paso prepares to leave his job for a promotion to lead the Houston Division, he warned that the Mexican cartels are continuing to expand their heroin and meth trafficking business. 

“Every day we try to answer the prayers of those parents who are praying that drugs, violence and crime will pass over their children,” Will R. Glaspy said in an interview last week with El Paso Times

Glaspy, who served more than three years as the special agent in charge of the DEA’s El Paso Division, is scheduled to start working in Houston on Sept. 18.

Glaspy said drug cartels are turning away from marijuana in favor of meth and heroin.

The El Paso Times wrote:

During his time in El Paso, Glaspy said that his agents handled cases such as the arrests of Sinaloa-cartel affiliated drug traffickers in El Paso, Albuquerque meth traffickers and “Operation Crystal Mountain,” which targeted meth dealers on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

The No. 1 priority in the El Paso region is fighting Mexican drug cartels, with the No. 2 priority being “community impact cases” that target local drug-dealing groups, Glaspy said.

DEA agents deal more with border drug-trafficking issues in El Paso, Las Cruces and Alpine, which covers the vast Big Bend area.

“Basically, what we are trying to do is target command-and-control of the Mexican organizations sending the drugs up here,” Glaspy said.

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Severely Beaten in New Mexico

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A motorist found an off-duty Border Patrol agent on the side of the road in New Mexico on Friday night, severely beaten and left for dead.

The agent, who was assigned to the Deming Border Patrol Station in New Mexico, sustained serious injuries to his head, chest and hands, according to a CBP news release. He was found about 11 p.m. in Dona Ana County, west of Las Cruces.

The agent, whose name has not been released, was rushed to a nearby hospital and was in stable condition.

The FBI, Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office and the El Paso Police Department are helping investigate.

Another off-duty Border Patrol agent was stabbed in the eye in the El Paso Sector on May 20.

“CBP has informed its workforce of this report and has reminded its law enforcement personnel to be alert and aware of their surroundings and potential threats related to their service,” CBP said in the news release.

One of FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives Is Captured in El Paso

Terry Strikland

Terry Strikland

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the FBI’s 10 most wanted fugitives was taken into custody by the FBI on Sunday in El Paso.

Terry A.D. Strickland, 24, is accused of killing two men in Milwaukee and has been charged with two counts of first-deere homicide and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, the Associated Press reports. 

Prosecutors said Strickland fired a gun into a small crowd in front of a Milwaukee home on July 17 following an argument. Killed were Maurice Brown Jr., 38, and Michael Allen Reed, 39. 

“It was vicious,” Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said when Strickland was added to the FBI’s most-wanted list last month. “It was unnecessary. Neither individual posed the slightest threat to Mr. Strickland, but they paid with their lives for occupying the same space.”

Strickland abandoned his 18-year-old daughter and fled. But after receiving tips, the FBI found Strickland in El Paso.