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Tag: Laredo

Border Patrol’s Laredo Sector Has New Interim Chief with a Leadership Background

Felix Chavez

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol’s busy Laredo Sector has a new interim chief after two of its agents have been charged with murder this year.

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost appointed Felix Chavez, a 32-year veteran of the agency, to the position, which puts him in charge of more than 85,000 square miles, from Arkansas to Texas.

Chavez, who replaces Jason D. Owens, most recently served as chief patrol agent of the Del Rio Sector

A graduate of Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, Chavez became an agent in 1985, and his first assignment was at the Sierra Blanca Station. A decade later, Chavez rose to supervisory Border Patrol agent at the Tucson Station.

In 1997, he became the field operations supervisor at the Tucson station before promoted to patrol agent in charge of the Alamogordo station in the El Paso sector in July 2002. In 2007, Chavez was selected as the patrol agent of the Tucson Sector.

In May 2011, Chavez was promoted to the senior executive service position of deputy chief of the former operations division at Border Patrol’s headquarters in Washington D.C. In August 2013, he was appointed as the deputy chief patrol agent at the Tucson Sector.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Being Serial Killer Likely Used His Service Weapon in Murders

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of being a serial killer likely used his government-issued weapon to murder four women in September.

The .40-caliber casings found at the scene of each murder “were consistent with the agency issued .40-caliber HK p2000 semiautomatic pistol” that police found in Juan David Ortiz’s truck when he was captured on Sept. 15, the USA Today reports, citing the district attorney involved in the case.  

The Texas Department of Public Safety’s crime lab in Laredo is examining the handgun and casings to determine whether the match is precise.

Ortiz, 35, was arrested after a woman escaped his truck after suspecting that he had killed her friend.

Police said Ortiz drove four women between the ages of 28 and 42 to the side of rural roads and shot them in the head.

Questions Raised about Border Patrol After Agent Described As Serial Killer

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The arrest of a Border Patrol agent accused of killing four women this month has raised an obvious question: Did the federal law enforcement agency miss red flags about a man described as a serial killer?

Eighteen members of the House of Representatives are questioning Customs and Border Protection about its hiring practices and whether it missed warning signs about Juan David Ortiz.

“Like you, our priority is to provide for the well-being and safety of the populations we serve,” the members wrote in a letter sent to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “To do so, we must learn from any mistakes made in this case.” 

Ortiz was arrested after a sex worker’s daring escape at gunpoint in Laredo, Tex., and authorities said he has confessed to killing four women by shooting them in the head and leaving their bodies on rural Texas roadsides. 

According to the Associated Press, the former Navy veteran appeared to be living a “typical suburban life” in Laredo, raising two children with his wife. 

‘‘We’re seeking truth, and we’re seeking justice for these victims,’’ Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz told the AP. ‘‘Hopefully, even though motive is not an element to the crime of murder, we will be able to try to piece together what was going on in the mind of this accused killer as to why he did it.’’

In the meantime, investigators are trying to determine whether this month’s four murders were the only ones committed by Ortiz, who joined the Border Patrol in August 2009.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Being a Serial Killer After Woman’s Daring Escape

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A supervisory Border Patrol agent accused of being a serial killer was tracked down after a sex worker’s daring escape at gunpoint in Laredo, Tex.

Juan David Ortiz, a 10-year veteran of the agency who worked in intelligence, confessed to four September murders, including two in a five-hour span early Saturday morning, the Washington Post reports.

“We consider this man to be a serial killer who was preying on one victim after another,” Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said. 

A sex worker who suspected Ortiz had killed her friend was in a white pickup truck with the alleged killer when he pulled out a gun and grabbed her shirt. She managed to escape, and he fled.

The woman flagged down a state trooper, and after a pursuit, police found the 35-year-old hiding in a hotel parking lots at 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Ortiz faces life in prison on four counts of murder, aggravated assault and unlawful restrain.

All of the victims are believed to be sex workers, some of whom may not have been chosen at random.

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.

Border Patrol Agents Find 76 Immigrants Packed into Tractor-Trailer in Texas

Dozens of immigrants were found inside this tractor-trailer in Texas. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents made a disturbing discovery inside a tractor-trailer northwest of Laredo, Texas: 76 immigrants, including 13 unaccompanied children, were packed into the bed of truck.

The immigrants, hailing from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, were found in “good health” at a checkpoint on U.S. 83 on Friday, Border Patrol announced Monday

The discovery is just the latest in what agents said is an increase in the use of tractor-trailers to smuggle immigrants into the U.S.

“These criminal organizations view these individuals as mere commodities without regard for their safety,” Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta said in a news release. “The blatant disregard for human life will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle these organizations and prosecute those responsible.”

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

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

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

Border Patrol Flies Immigrants to El Paso Because of Influx Causing Long Delays And Bus Drives

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

So many immigrants crossed into South Texas illegally recently that Border Patrol flew many of them across the state for processing in El Paso Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

More than 100 detainees were flown from Brownsville in an effort to speed up processing following an average of 1,000 arrests a day in the Rio Grande Valley sector.

Immigrants were facing long wait times and often were forced to take hour-long bus rides to the Laredo and Del Rio for processing, the AP wrote.

“We’re utilizing all of the resources that we have available,” said Border Patrol spokesman Daniel Tirado. “We’re going to take advantage of that and farm out some of those detainees.”

Whether the flights become routine is unclear.

The goal of Border Patrol is to process immigrants and get the out of holding areas within 72 hours, Tirado said.