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Tag: CBP

Smugglers Dropped Large Amount of Marijuana from Ultralight Aircraft

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug smugglers have tried all kinds of clever – and not so clever – ways to get their products across the Mexican border and into the U.S.

On Tuesday morning, Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector seized nearly $100,000 worth of marijuana dropped from an ultralight aircraft Tuesday, AZ Family reports.

The ultralight was was spotted by CBP camera operators.

Agents found 10 bundles of marijuana wearing roughly 185 pounds.

Agents arrested two Mexican nationals.

Customs And Border Protection Plans to Hire 2,000 Officers to Beef Up Security

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CBP plans to hire 2,000 officers by the end of the 2015 fiscal year, the Tucson News reports.

Most of the new officers will serve along the southwest border.

Some of the jobs entail checking passports at the border and enforcing immigration laws.

Applicants will undergo a thorough screening process to ensure their eligibility.

Applicants must also pass an entrance and fitness test, be a U.S. citizen and resident of this country for the past three years and be under the age of 37 at the time of applying.

Applications are available online.

Washington Post: Reforms Could Usher in Accountability for Border Patrol

By Washington Post
Editorial Board

Few federal government agencies have grown as quickly as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes the 21,000 agents, double the number in 2004, who patrol the nation’s frontiers with Mexico and Canada. That growth has been accompanied by an alarming number of incidents involving the use of lethal force, particularly along the Mexican border and all too frequently under circumstances that suggest the agency is indifferent or hostile to the most basic standards of restraint, transparency and self-policing.

Reports by news organizations and independent experts — including one report that was suppressed by Customs and Border Protection for more than a year — have finally prompted the agency to address its problems with accountability. The agency’s new commissioner, R. Gil Kerlikowske, a former police chief in Seattle and Buffalo, has proposed serious reforms.

The question now is whether an organization that badly needs change, and the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents some 17,000 agents in the field, will be receptive to reform.

Mr. Kerlikowske’s ideas for revamping the agency’s policies and culture are far-ranging. Soon after taking office in March, he initiated a review of hundreds of incidents since 2009 involving agents’ alleged misconduct and use of deadly force; 155 such incidents remain under review.

To read more click here.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Assaulting Detained 14-Year-Old Boy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent has been charged with assaulting a 14-year-old immigrant for having a cellphone in detention, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Aldo Francisco Arteaga of Tucson was arrested Thursday on felony charges of assaulting a minor.

CBP officials said Arteaga surrendered Thursday after Jan. 3o video showed him assaulting the boy.

“The officer … sees the juvenile with a phone, a prohibited item, takes the phone from the juvenile and proceeds to punch him in the stomach,” Silva told the Los Angeles Times.

Arteaga couldn’t be reached for comment.

Border Patrol Official Says More than 4,300 New Officers Are Needed to Protect U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 

CBP needs more than 4,300 new officers to adequately protect the borders, acting Customs and Border Patrol Assistant Commissioner John P. Wagner, from the Office of Field Operations, told PJ Media.

With the increased dangers of ISIS and the influx of immigrants,

Wagner said a lot more manpower is needed.

“We’ve done an analysis and we have a need for 4,373 new CBP officers to staff all of the ports of entry across the United States,” he said. “Congress was generous enough to provide us with funding for 2,000 of those officers for this fiscal year and the [Obama] administration’s budget proposal for 2015 contains a request for another 2,373, so the answer is yes.

“A lot of those would be dedicated to the ports of entry at the southwest border as well as the gateway airports all across the United States.”

Wagner emphasized the importance of the manpower and said CBP is taking extra efforts to prevent terrorists from entering the country.

“CBP officers scan the traveler’s entry documents to perform queries of various CBP databases for exact or possible matches to existing lookouts, including those of other law enforcement agencies. For most foreign nationals arriving at U.S. airports, CBP officers collect biometrics – fingerprints and photographs – and compare them to any previously collected information,” Wagner said.

LA Times Editorial: Border Patrol Must Take Deadly Shootings More Seriously

By Los Angeles Times
Editorial Board

The new head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s internal affairs office made a troubling assertion late last week. Since 2004, he said, the agency has apparently taken no disciplinary action against any of its agents who have used deadly force.

That follows a report released in February by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum, which reviewed 67 shooting incidents by Border Patrol agents from January 2010 to October 2012, 19 of which were fatal, and accused the agency of violating accepted police practices and a “lack of diligence” in investigating agents’ actions.

The American Immigration Council reported in May that of 809 abuse complaints (a broader category) filed from 2009 to 2012, 40% remained unresolved, and in the resolved cases, only 3% found fault with an agent’s actions. Comparative statistics are hard to come by, but a study of 2002 data found that about 8% of complaints against civilian police officers were sustained.

The backlog of cases and the possibility that the agency has been unwilling to discipline its officers led Department of Homeland Security officials in June to replace the internal affairs director, James F. Tomsheck, with an outsider, former L.A. police officer and FBI Deputy Assistant Director Mark Morgan. It was Morgan who told reporters he had yet to find records of disciplinary actions against agents in deadly force cases. While it’s possible that there was no fault to be found, that seems highly unlikely.

It is clear that the agency must respond more quickly to complaints and must be willing to assess the behavior of its employees fairly and objectively when they use their weapons. In one 2012 case, a Border Patrol agent fired across the border into Nogales, Mexico, killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez; the boy, who the Border Patrol says may have been throwing rocks, was struck in the back by at least eight bullets. His family says he was merely walking home after playing basketball. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the family, but so far it has been unsuccessful in getting the agency to publicly identify the officer involved.

To read more click here.

 

Other Stories of Interest

 

Lawsuit Seeks to Name Border Patrol Agent Who Shot, Killed 16-Year-Old in Nogales

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Civil rights lawyers are suing federal government to force the disclosure of the name of the Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a 16-year-old teen in the back.

“This is an extraordinary request by the government and just one more example of how the Border Patrol attempts to shield its unlawful actions from the public. The rule of law demands transparency—that’s all we’re asking for,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project in a news release.

The body of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was found about 40 feet from the border near the port of entry in Nogales.

Border Patrol said the agent was responding to rock throwers, but a witness disputes that.

CBP has agreed to release the name of the agent, but only if the identity is kept hidden from the public.

“The public interest in knowing the identity of a federal agent sued for the use of deadly force during his official duties is paramount,” attorneys wrote.

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.