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Archive for April 15th, 2021

Border Patrol Agent Laid to Rest in California After He Was Struck with Car

Funeral services for fallen Border Patrol Agent Alejandro. Flores-Bañuelos

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent killed while trying to help a motorist in Southern California on March 15 was laid to rest this week. 

Law enforcement officials said goodbye to Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos, of the El Centro Sector, at services held Tuesday at Riverside National Cemetery Amphitheater.  

Flores-Bañuelos, 35, was called to a report of a collision on state Route 86 near Salton City. When he arrived, he began helping a 75-year-old woman whose car had become disabled in the road during a dust storm. A car stuck both the agent and the woman’s car. 

Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos (courtesy of Border Patrol)

Flores-Bañuelos, who was assigned to the Indio Station, was pronounced dead at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. 

Flores-Bañuelos left behind a wife and three children. 

Before joining Border Patrol, Flores-Bañuelos served in the U.S. Marine Corps. 

“Yesterday was a difficult day for El Centro Sector as we laid our brother to rest,” the El Centro Sector posted on Facebook.

“With heavy hearts we heard our dispatch call his star number, India-203, for a safety check one more time.  A call he will no longer be able to answer. We watched his horse pass by without his rider, leaving behind indelible sadness, yet grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside him.”

CBP Officer Charged with Excessive Force, Faces Up to 10 Years in Prison

CBP officer (Photo: CBP via Twitter)

By Steve Neavling

A Customs and Border Protection officer from the Calexico office has been charged with using unreasonable force on a person seeking admission into the U.S. from Mexico. 

Officer Marcos Valenzuela, 29, of El Centro, Calif., injured the unidentified person while on duty at the Calexico West Port of Entry in August 2019, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday. 

“The protection of the civil rights of all persons entering the United States remains a high priority of the Justice Department, and our office in particular,” Acting U.S. Attorney Grossman said in a news release. “All allegations of excessive force by law enforcement officers are investigated thoroughly and carefully reviewed to ensure public confidence in our commitment to redressing violations of Constitutional rights.” 

Details of the allegations weren’t immediately clear. 

“No one is above the law and this indictment should assure the public that the FBI is committed to rooting out any public servant who violates their oath – regardless of where they work,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner said. “Actions such as the ones alleged in this case violate an officer’s oath, the public’s trust, and damage law enforcement’s reputation. I want to thank Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility for their collaboration and partnership in bringing this case to fruition.”

Valenzuela, who faces up to 10 years in prison, is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court for a motion hearing on May 21. 

“All CBP employees are required and expected to abide by all laws they enforce,” CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth Cervantes said. “CBP stresses professionalism, honor, and integrity in every aspect of its mission and CBP OPR is fully committed to investigating all allegations of misconduct while supporting the men and women who proudly uphold their duties to serve and protect.”