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Tag: Border Patrol

Border Patrol Agent Disciplined for Speaking with Media about Agency Concerns

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent has been disciplined for speaking to the media, the National Review reports.

By speaking to the media, Agent Ron Zermeno violated an “cease and desist” order to stop issuing statements that contain “Law Enforcement sensitive” information to the media.

Zermeno, who is the health and safety director of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613, spoke out about the cease and desist.
CBP recommended that Zermeno be reprimanded for unauthorized disclosure and failure to follow instructions.

But Zermeno allegedly ignored the order about a month after the gag order.

“You willfully abandoned your responsibilities as a Border Patrol Agent and potentially placed several persons at risk,” the CBP wrote.

Others have defended Zermeno, including a staff member of ranking Republican Senator Tom Coburn.

“We’ve reviewed, and I’ve reviewed his comments, and I don’t think he has released anything that would violate law-enforcement sensitivities,” the staffer says. “I can’t see what he released that would have done any harm, but I’m willing to keep an open mind to that. I just don’t see it. I think he’s a good American who’s done the right thing.”

Mexican National Accused of Fatally Shooting Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Faces More Charges

Gustavo Tijerina

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Mexican national accused of shooting an off-duty Border Patrol agent during a robbery in Texas was charged with additional crimes related to more robberies Thursday, the Monitor reports.

Gustavo Tijerina, 30, was charged with seven counts of aggravated armed robbery and three counts of engaging in organized criminal activity in connection with four armed robberies in Cameron County. Cars were stolen in those cases.

Tijerina already has been charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr., 36, of Kingsville.

Tijerina likely won’t be going anywhere after his bail was set at $2 million.

Other Stories of Interest


Former CBP Insider Accuses Agency of Corruption, Distortions to Cover Up Deaths

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James Tomsheck, who was forced to resign as internal affairs for CBP, said the agency made it difficult for him to investigate internal complaints.

NPR reports that Tomscheck believes some Border Patrol agents aren’t being held accountable because of a culture that evades legal restraints.

Tomscheck said about a quarter of the 28 fatal shootings by agents and officers are highly suspicious, yet no one has paid any consequences.

“I believe the system was clearly engineered to interfere with our efforts to hold the Border Patrol accountable,” he says.

“Some persons in leadership positions in the Border Patrol were either fabricating or distorting information to give the outward appearance that it was an appropriate use of lethal force when in fact it was not.”

Tomscheck said he became a scapegoat for the problems in the agency.

CBP Offers Citizens Up-Close Look at Monitoring Border, Keeping U.S. Safe

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What’s it like protecting the border?

The U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona is hosting a Citizens Academy beginning Oct. 15 to give residents and community leaders an inside look at the agency. The idea is to provider a greater sense of Border Patrol’s mission and its duties.

Leaders warned that participants should be in good physical condition because the five-week class includes trek’s on unstable terrain.

For more information, call the Yuma Sector Border Community Liaison Office at (928) 341-6559, or Supervisory CBPO Reggie Smith at (928) 627-8854 Ext. 347.

Border Patrol Finds 9 Immigrants in Back of U-Haul Truck at Arizona Checkpoint

uhaul.com

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents in Arizona found nine immigrants locked inside the cargo area of a U-Haul, AzFamily.com reports.

Agent searched the trucks after becoming suspicious of the driver and passenger at a checkpoint near Amado.

Inside were eight adults and one juvenile who had no fresh air or ability to escape.

An undocumented immigrant was killed a similar way last summer.

“Transporting people inside the cargo area of a vehicle is extremely dangerous due to heat, the possibility of a vehicle accident, or other unforeseen circumstances,” the agency said in a statement.

Border Patrol Warns of Armed Militias Complicating Immigration Crackdowns at Border

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Armed militias are complicating already tense, complex crackdowns on immigration, the Border Patrol has warned.

The Associated Press reports that the Border Patrol issued a warning to agents to be on the look out for militias that are working in fatigues but have no authority law enforcement authority or training.

The warning came after agents were rounding up immigrants recently and were helped with men in fatigues. Border Patrol agents said they throught they were being helped by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“How do they identify themselves? Do they have badges? How do we know who they are?” asked J.P. Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. “If they’re all just dressed in camos, it’s kind of hard to distinguish whether they’re law enforcement or not. … There’s a lot of potential for stuff to go wrong.”

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio warned of “chaos if you’re going to have private citizens dressed just like our deputies taking the law into their own hands.”

A member of the Arizona Minutemen militia pointed a rifle at a sheriff’s deputy last year after apparently mistaking him for a drug trafficker.

Investigation Finds No Evidence That Border Patrol Agent Drew Gun on Iowa Boy Scout

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal investigation into claims that a Border Patrol agent drew his gun on an Iowa Boy Scout has found no evidence of wrongdoing, Homeland Security announced Monday.

During the investigation, which cost the inspector general’s office $19,000, feds reviewed surveillance video and interviewed children and adults, the Washington Post reports.

“All investigative leads have been pursued and exhausted,” said Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth. “Based on the investigation to date, we do not believe any CBP personnel acted inappropriately.”

The scout leader said none of the adults on the trip witnessed the July 7 incident, which was repeated by several youths.

According to the original account, a Boy Scout group from Iowa was stopped by Border Patrol. One of the children said an agent drew a gun on him after trying to take a cell phone photo of the agent.

Ex-Internal Affairs Official: Border Patrol Altered Details of Reports on ‘Highly Suspect’ Deaths

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have tried to alter details of at least seven “highly suspect” deaths since 2010, a former internal affairs official for CBP told the Center for Investigative Reporting.

“In nearly every instance, there was an effort by Border Patrol leadership to make a case to justify the shooting versus doing a genuine, appropriate review of the information and facts at hand,” James Tomsheck told reporter Andrew Becker in a story published online Thursday.

The interview raise serious questions about the culture of secrecy and impunity at CBP.

Since 2005, on-duty Border Patrol agents and CBP officers have killed at least 45 people, and 15 of them were Americans, the Arizona Republic reports.

None of those case led to discipline for a federal official.