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Tag: Border Patrol

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.

Investigators Find Gun Believed to Be Used in Murder of Border Patrol Agent in Front of Family

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators in Texas believe they’ve found the handgun used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent while he was fishing with his family on vacation, Breitbart.com reports.

Scouring an area where the suspects were known to hang out, authorities found a handgun that they believe was used during the botched robbery on Aug. 3.

Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega was fishing with his family in the southern part of Willacy County when two men, one of whom had been deported four times, tried to rob the group.

Vega tried to stop the robbery by firing back, authorities said.

“If it is the weapon it can only help strengthen our case and better prove that they shot him,” Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence said. “Right now we are glad that the weapon was recovered and it didn’t fall into the wrong hands were it could have been used to commit further atrocities.”

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Opinion: A Border Patrol Without Borders

By John Stossel
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

If I drive across a U.S. border, I expect to stop at a Border Patrol checkpoint. But imagine driving to the grocery store, or Mom’s house, well inside America, and being stopped by the Border Patrol. Many Americans don’t have to imagine it — it’s how they live.

Even as the federal government fails to control the southern border, it sends the Border Patrol farther into the interior, where Americans complain that agents harass people who are already U.S. citizens.

And it’s legal. The Supreme Court ruled that the Border Patrol can set up “inland” checkpoints anywhere up to 100 miles from an external border of the United States. That’s what government now considers a “reasonable distance” from the border.

But that means the zone within which you could be stopped and searched includes much of Florida and California and all of Maine and New Hampshire. Two-thirds of America’s population lives that close to the border.

American Civil Liberties Union lawyer James Lyall argues, “Interior checkpoints fundamentally fly in the face of what it means to live in a free society, where you don’t have to answer to federal agents when you’re going about your daily business.”

The Supreme Court ruled that Border Patrol agents at these checkpoints can “conduct brief stops for the limited purpose of verifying residence status” but cannot “conduct searches of individuals or the interior of their vehicles.” But the experience of members of my staff and videos on YouTube show that

Border Patrol agents do exactly that. They often demand answers to lots of questions and search cars, too.

To read more click here.