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Border Patrol’s Encounters with Migrants Continue to Rise in Southern Arizona

By Steve Neavling

The number of migrants who are coming into contact with Border Patrol in Southern Arizona continues to rise. 

At the Yuma Sector, agents encountered about 11,800 migrants in March, an increase from about 5,100 in February, Tucson.com reports, citing CBP statistics.

At the Tucson Sector, agents encountered about 19,800 migrants in March, an increase from about 14,600 in February. 

Most of the encounters involved adult migrants without children, but the number of families traveling together and children traveling alone also is rising sharply. 

The Biden administration attributed the rise “to reasons which include violence, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty” in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Republicans blames Biden’s laxer border policies. 

Biden Wants Funding Increase to Investigate White Supremacy within CBP, ICE

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

President Biden’s budget proposal seeks to increase oversight of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate complaints of white supremacy. 

Under the proposal, workforce oversight offices within CBP and ICE would receive $470 million, a 22% increase in funding, Reuters reports.

The idea is to ensure timely investigations of workforce complaints, including “those related to white supremacy or ideological and non-ideological beliefs.”

The impetus for the increased oversight wasn’t immediately clear, but the Biden administration has prioritized combating domestic extremism, which a Homeland Security report in 2020 described as “the most persistent and lethal threat” to the U.S. 

Fallen FBI Agents Honored with Plaque at Miami Field Office

Plaque pays tribute to fallen FBI agents FBI Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

FBI Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger, who were killed while serving a search warrant at a home in Florida in February, were honored Thursday at the field office where they worked in Miami.

Law enforcement officials unveiled a plaque honoring the fallen agents. 

Alfin and Schwartzenberger specialized in investigating child pornography and crimes against children and worked out of the Miami Field Office. 

Alfin, a New York native, was first assigned to the FBI’s Albany Field Office office in 2009. Over the past six years, he investigated crimes against children. He had a wife and child.  

Schwartzenberger, 43, joined the bureau’s Albuquerque Field Office in 2005 and was transferred to Miami in 2010. She tracked suspects accused of exploiting children online. She had a husband and two children. 

They were shot outside the Sunrise, Fla., apartment of David Lee Huber, a 55-year-old systems engineer who was suspected of possessing child pornography. Three other FBI agents were shot and have since recovered.

The shooting was one of the deadliest in FBI history. 

Raul Bujanda Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Albuquerque Field Office in New Mexico

Special FBI Agent Raul Bujanda

By Steve Neavling

Raul Bujanda has been appointed special agent in charge of the FBI’s Albuquerque Field Office in New Mexico. 

Bujanda joined the FBI as a special agent in 2002, when he served in the Portland Field Office in Oregon and investigated violent crime, gang, and Mexican-based drug trafficking organizations.

Bujanda then joined the El Paso Field Office in Texas in 2008 to work on the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force strike force, which included members from the DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, and Border Patrol. He also continued to investigate Mexican-based drug trafficking organizations. In 2010, Bujanda was promoted to supervisory special agent of the El Paso strike force.

In 2013, Bujanda became unit chief in the Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia.

In 2015, Bujanda was tapped to serve as assistant inspector and team leader in the Inspection Division at FBI headquarters. He was promoted in 2016 to assistant special agent in charge of the National Security Branch in the Oklahoma City Field Office before serving as the assistant special agent in charge of Oklahoma City’s Criminal Branch, where he worked criminal violations and administrative matters.

Bujanda was named section chief of the Criminal Investigative Division’s National Covert Operations Section in 2019, managing and overseeing all criminal and national security undercover operations for the FBI.

Before joining the FBI, Bujanda was a special agent in the Immigration and Naturalization Service and a fifth-grade teacher.

Biden to Nominate Gun Control Advocate As Permanent ATF Director

Former ATF Agent David Chipman, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

President Biden is expected to nominate David Chipman, a prominent gun control advocate, to lead the ATF, The New York Times reports.

Biden’s pick, David Chipman, is a gun owner, former ATF agent and senior policy adviser at Giffords, a gun control advocacy group led by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. Chipman has advocated for gun restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons. 

Biden is expected to announce his nomination today. 

Biden has faced pressure by gun control groups to pick someone to head the ATF, which has been without a permanent director since 2015 as the nation continues to grapple with mass shootings. 

As vice president, Biden recommended in 2013 that President Obama pick a Senate-confirmed ATF director. Obama followed through with the confirmation of B. Todd Jones in 2013, but Jones resigned in 2015, and the agency has been without a permanent director since. 

The current acting director, appointed by President Trump, is Regina Lombardo. 

Whether Biden can muster the 51 votes required to confirm a permanent leader is an open question. Republicans have blocked ATF candidates who were far friendlier to the pro-gun base. 

Suspects Shot at DEA Agents Who Were Serving Arrest Warrants in Detroit

By Steve Neavling

DEA agents came under gunfire while trying to serve a search warrant in Detroit on Wednesday morning. 

The agents weren’t injured, and the two suspects accused of firing at the agents were arrested, Fox 2 Detroit reports

“No one was injured during today’s enforcement action in Detroit and the situation was neutralized peacefully,” Detroit’s DEA office tweeted. 

The shooting broke out around 7:30 a.m., when the agents arrived at a home to serve arrest warrants for two people.

Detroit police and state troopers provided backup. 

It wasn’t immediately clear what the arrests warrants were for. 

Head of FBI’s El Paso Field Office to Leave Post for Promotion at Quantico

FBI Special Agent Luis M. Quesada

By Steve Neavling

Louis M. Quesada, special agent in charge of the El Paso Field Office, will leave his post on Friday to become deputy assistant director of the bureau’s Incident Response Group in Quantico. 

Quesada was promoted to head of the El Paso office in October 2019.

“Both professionally and personally, it has been a fantastic time, a time of growth,” Quesada told the El Paso Times. “I’m not from this area, but it’s been a wonderful experience. It’s a great community and I think that attributes to why El Paso is El Paso. For a major city to have the third least violent crimes and the fifth overall crime, I think speaks a lot to the people in the community and to the relationships that the law enforcement has with each other, which is something that I’ve never experienced in any other office in the last 25-plus years that I’ve been in the FBI.”

Quesada joined the FBI as a special agent in 1995 and began working in the Miami Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes with a focus on bank robberies, extortion, and kidnappings. In 1998, Quesada voluntarily transferred to the San Juan Field Office in Puerto Rico before returning to Miami in 2001 to investigates drugs. In both offices, Quesada served on the SWAT teams.

Quesada was promoted in 2003 to supervisory special agent and began working in the Counterterrorism Division of the Terrorist Screening Center, which manages and operates the nation’s terrorist watch list.

In 2005, he transferred to the FBI Academy in Quantico as a defensive tactics instructor. Quesada returned to Miami two years later as the supervisor of the violent gang and high-intensity drug trafficking area task force. He later became the acting assistant special agent in charge of Miami’s Criminal Branch.

In 2010, Quesada became the assistant legal attaché in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he promoted FBI interests in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

In 2012, Quesada was promoted to a unit chief position in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, focusing on counter-narcotics efforts in Latin America and the U.S. Southwest border.

In 2014, Quesada became legal attaché of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, focusing on counterterrorism threats throughout the Balkans and the U.S.

A year later, Quesada became the assistant special agent in charge of the Criminal Branch in the Jackson Field Office in Mississippi. In 2017, he was appointed to assistant section chief in the Training Division, and a year later was promoted to section chief of the division’s Training Services Section.

Quesada earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Florida International University

CBP: Border Patrol Agent Helps Save Life of Suicidal Woman on Bridge in California

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent and off-duty firefighter are credited with saving the life of a woman who intended to jump off a bridge along an interstate in California on Tuesday morning, CBP said. 

The Border Patrol agent, who works in the San Diego Sector, was driving eastbound on I-8 in Pine Valley at 7 a.m. when he spotted a woman standing on the rails of the Pine Valle Bridge near the westbound traffic lanes. He turned around and was met with an off-duty firefighter. Together, they removed the woman from the edge of the bridge before she was able to jump. 

The woman was transferred to the California Highway Patrol for care and assistance. 

“A tragedy was avoided today thanks to the efforts of these heroes,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a statement. “Even though border security is our primary mission, our agents respond to a multitude of significant events in the areas they patrol and consistently rise to the challenge.”