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CBP Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Smuggling Drugs into Prison

Photo via Border Patrol

A CBP officer is accused of sneaking drugs into a Washington State prison for her boyfriend, a gang member who was convicted of murder. 

The FBI is investigating Officer Melissa Mesa on allegations she smuggled methamphetamine and suboxone into into the Clallam Bay Corrections Center, The Daily Beat reports, citing an FBI search warrant application.

The drugs were allegedly for Say Keodara, who was sentenced in 2011 to 69 years in the shooting death of a homeless man during a botched robbery attempt at a Seattle bus stop. 

A CBP spokesperson said Mesa is no longer working at the agency. 

“Melissa Mesa’s employment with CBP has been terminated. CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP officers/agents perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” the spokesperson said. “CBP fully cooperates with all criminal and administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, whether it occurs on or off duty. The investigation is ongoing and we have nothing further to add at this time.”

A confidential source tipped off state investigators about Mesa in May 2020. Correctional officials informed the FBI after learning that Keodara and Mesa were romantically involved. 

“During their relationship, Keodara asked Mesa to meet with individuals in the community in order to obtain illegal drugs and illegally obtained prescription drugs for the purpose of passing the drugs to others for introduction into CBCC,” the warrant application states. “Keodara also asked Mesa to conduct financial transactions on his behalf in furtherance of the drug conspiracy.”

Mesa has not yet been charged. The case is still under investigation. 

U.S. Marshals Rescue 16 Missing Children in Philadelphia Area

U.S. Marshals prepare to make an arrest. (Stock photo via USMS)

By Steve Neavling

The U.S. Marshals Service in Philadelphia rescued 16 missing children during a four-week operation dubbed “Safeguard.”

At least four of the children were connected to child sex trafficking, officials said in a news release. 

The multi-agency operation began on Feb. 15. 

The children were considered to be “some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases” because they had been victims of abuse or had medical or mental health issues. 

“I applaud the exceptional cooperation among our respective agencies in combating this most abhorrent affront to society,” U.S. Marshal Eric Gartner of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. “Our hope is for a better future for the 16 children we recovered; our resolve remains steadfast in finding other children in peril.”

Over the past five years, the U.S. Marshals Service has recovered three-quarters of the missing children it has investigated. Of those, 72% were found within seven days. Since 2015, U.S. Marshals have recovered more than 1,700 missing children. 

Weekend Series on Crime: Sammy the Bull in Arizona

GoFundMe Campaign Launched for Family of Border Patrol Agent Killed While Helping Motorist

Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos (courtesy of Border Patrol)

By Steve Neavling

A fundraising campaign was launched for the family of a Border Patrol agent who was killed Monday while trying to help a motorists involved in a crash in Southern California. 

The GoFundMe campaign raised more than $67,000 as of Friday morning for the family of Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos, a 12-year Border Patrol veteran who was fatally stuck by a car. 

Flores-Bañuelos left behind a wife and three children. 

“All funds will be going directly to his family to assist them with their loss and to help with future expenses,” the campaign states. 

Flores-Bañuelos, 35, was called to a report of a collision on state Route 86 near Salton City at about 4:20 p.m. Monday. 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. Flores-Bañuelos, who was assigned to the Indio Station, was pronounced dead at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. 

The elderly driver was injured and sent to a hospital. 

FBI Releases Graphic Videos of Most Violent Assaults on Officers During Jan. 6 Riot

Screenshot of attack on officers at U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI on Thursday released 10 videos showing the most egregious assaults on police officers during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and is asking for the public’s help identifying the attackers. 

The FBI has arrested more than 300 people in connection with the riot, including 65 who assaulted law enforcement officers. But as the videos show, some of the most violent offenders have not yet been identified. 

“The FBI is asking for the public’s help in identifying 10 individuals suspected of being involved in some of the most violent attacks on officers who were protecting the U.S. Capitol and our democratic process on January 6,” Steven M. D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said in a statement. “These individuals are seen on video committing egregious crimes against those who have devoted their lives to protecting the American people.”

Anyone with information about the suspects in the videos is asked to call (800) CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Secret Service Arrests Texas Man Near Vice President’s Residence on Weapons Charges

By Steve Neavling

A San Antonio man was arrested near Vice President Kamala Harris’ official residence in Washington D.C. on Wednesday and charged with weapons and ammunition charges. 

The Secret Service arrested Paul Murray, 31, after receiving an intelligence bulletin from Texas that indicated Murray was experiencing “paranoid delusions” and believed the government or military wanted to kill him. According to the bulletin, he told his mother via a text message that he was in Washington and would “take care of his problem.”

Murray was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon, carrying a rifle or shotgun outside of a business, possession of unregistered ammunition and possession of a large-capacity ammunition-feeding device.

A rifle and ammunition were found in his car. 

Mayorkas Defends Administration’s Handling of Border in First House Hearing As Secretary

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Screen shot via U.S. House.

By Steve Neavling

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas clashed with Republicans Wednesday on how the Biden administration is handling the boarder amid an influx of migrants. 

In his first appearance before lawmakers as the Homeland Security secretary, Mayorkas said the border situation was a challenge but not a crisis as depicted by Republicans. 

“I’m not spending any time on the language that we use. I am spending time on operational response to the situation at the border,” Mayorkas told the House Homeland Security Committee.

Mayorkas described former President Trump’s policy of separating children as a humanitarian crisis. 

“The situation at the southwest border is difficult,” Mayorkas said. “We are working around the clock to manage it.”

Since last spring, illegal border crossings have sharply increased as poverty, hunger and gang violence grip Central America. In February, Border Patrol agents arrested 97,000 migrants for crossing the border illegally, a two-year high. 

Watch the committee hearing here:

On-Duty Border Patrol Agent Killed While Helping Driver in Collision

By Steve Neavling

An on-duty Border Patrol agent was killed Monday after he was struck by a car while trying to help a motorist involved in a crash in Salton City, Ca.

Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos, 35, was called to a report of a collision on state Route 86 at about 4:20 p.m. Monday, The Los Angeles Times reports

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. 

Flores-Bañuelos, a 12-year-veteran assigned to the Indio Station, was pronounced dead at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. 

The elderly driver was injured and sent to a hospital. 

“It is with a profound sense of loss that we mourn the passing of one of our own, Border Patrol Agent Alejandro Flores,” El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino said Tuesday. “The men and women of the El Centro Sector will be deeply impacted by this tragic loss.”