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Tag: Murder

Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty Against Border Patrol Agent Accused of Killing 4 Women

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent described as a serial killer was indicted on capital murder charges Wednesday, and prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty.

A grand jury upgraded the charges against Juan David Ortiz, a 10-year veteran of the agency who was arrested after he confessed to killing four sex workers in the area around Laredo, Tex., the Washington Post reports.

Ortiz found his victims from the side of the road and killed four of them in rural parts of Webb County, prosecutors said.

Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz cited numerous reasons he was seeking the death penalty.

“The horrific nature of the murders. His complete disregard for human life. His vigilante mentality. He violated his oath to his country and his agency that he swore to protect,” Alaniz said. “We also believe that there are no mitigating circumstances in his life where it is justified for life without parole.”

According to Alaniz, Ortiz said his motivation had been to “clean up the streets of Laredo by targeting this community of individuals who he perceived to be disposable.”

“The evidence that was presented to the grand jury this morning showed that he killed these four innocent individuals in a cold, callous and calculated way,” he said.

Border Patrol Agents in South Texas Murdered, Raped & Assaulted At Least 10 People

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have murdered, raped, kidnapped or viciously attacked at least 10 people in South Texas over the past four years.

In September, an agent in the Laredo sector, told investigators he had fatally shot four prostitutes during a 12-day killing rampage. Another Laredo agent, Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles, 29, has been charged with fatally stabbing his girlfriend and their 1-year-old son.

In March 2014, Agent Esteban Manzanares sexually assaulted a teenager and viciously attacked her friend and mother while they tried to seek asylum. Manzanares never stood trial because he killed himself.

The cases have prompted serious questions about the hiring practices of agents and whether the federal agency missed red flags.

Second Trial Begins for Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Teenager in Cross-Border Shooting

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent who killed a 16-year-old boy in a cross-border shooting is facing a second trial after he was acquitted of murder earlier this year.

Lonnie Swartz’s second trial was set to begin Tuesday morning on charges of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, about five years after he fatally shot Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.

A jury in April acquitted Swartz of murder but deadlocked on the manslaughter charges.

Swartz has been on leave while facing trial.

Prosecutors have argued that Swartz was tired of rock-throwers, so he shot across the border in revenge, killing Rodriguez.

His defense attorneys argue Swartz opened fire because he was protecting himself.

A separate lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of Rodriguez’s mother is wending its way through the courts.

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.

Suspect on FBI’s Most Wanted List Performs His Take on ‘Kiki Challenge’

Antwan Mims doing his take on the “Kiki Challenge” in front of a WDNU 16 camera.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A double murder suspect who was captured after being placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list turned toward a television news camera and showed off his version of the viral “Kiki challenge.” 

Antwan Mims, of Michigan, was captured in Georgia last month after prosecutors accused him of fatally shooting two men, execution-style, in front of about 100 people at a house party in Benton Harbor on March 25. 

As federal agents escorted Mims off an airplane and into the hands of local police at Southwest Michigan Regional Airport on Tuesday, he briefly stopped, turned toward a camera operated by NBC affiliate WDNU 16 and performed his version of the dance craze, flashing a love heart with his cuffed hands. 

The dance, popularized by rapper Drake, is sweeping across social media as thousands of people share videos of their versions of the infectious “Kiki Challenge.”

Antwan Mims

But the charges facing Mims are no laughing matter.

If convicted of first-degree premeditated murder, he likely will be sentenced to life in prison.  

Prosecutors allege Mims forced Cortez Lamont Miller and Michael Canthrell Johnson to lay down and then shot one in the face and the other in the head.

“When a wanted felon like Mims is placed on the FBI 10 Most Wanted List, his world becomes smaller as that bright spotlight is shined upon him,” Special Agent Timothy R. Slater said in a statement. “Couple that with determined federal, state, and local investigators, his life on the run ends with him in handcuffs.”

FBI agents tracked him down at a home in Atlanta and arrested him.

Imprisoned Gangster Says He and Whitey Bulger Paid Off 7 FBI Agents, Killed Informants

Steve Flemmi/dateline nbc file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For decades, the story of James “Whitey” Bulger was one of the bigger ones to come out of Boston.

Now, his name is back in the news.

Former gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified Monday that he and Bulger paid off seven FBI agents, killed several informants after they were exposed by a corrupt agent, and lied to implicate others in murders they committed, reports Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe.

“There was always some sort of story concocted . . . to keep the heat away from us,” Flemmi said under cross-examination at the murder trial of former New England Mafia boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme.

Murphy writes:

The sordid details of the gangsters’ corrupt relationship with the FBI have emerged in previous trials related to the Bulger saga over the past two decades, but they were new to the jury in the murder case unfolding in federal court in Boston against Salemme, 84, and his codefendant, Paul Weadick, a 62-year-old plumber from Burlington.