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Tag: Arizona

Arizona Man Wanted for Murder of Girlfriend Is Added to U.S. Marshals Most Wanted List

Raymond “RJ” McLeod

By Steve Neavling

A 37-year-old Arizona man wanted in connection with the 2016 murder of his girlfriend has been added to the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted List, the agency announced Monday.

Raymond “RJ” McLeod is the first fugitive to debut on the list with a $15,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. 

McLeod is wanted by the San Diego Police Department for the murder of 30-year-old Krystal Mitchell. 

Authorities believe he fled the country and may be hiding out in Mexico or Central America. He was last spotted in Belize in 2018 and Guatemala in 2017. 

“McLeod poses a significant threat to the public and must be brought to justice,” U.S. Marshal Service Director Donald Washington said in a statement. 

The San Diego District Attorney’s Office charged McLeod with murder after Mitchell was found dead in June 2016 at an apartment in San Diego, where the couple was visiting friends. McLeod was the last known person to see Mitchell alive, authorities said. 

“The passage of time will never deter the Marshals’ fugitive investigation for McLeod,” U.S. Marshal Steve Stafford of the Southern District of California said. “If anything, it fuels our determination. We will leave no stone unturned until he is brought to justice.”

McLeod is 5 feet 11 inches tall and has brown hair and hazel eyes. At the time he fled, McLeod weighed 245 pounds and had “a tattooed muscular physique.”

Kirpy Retires from Border Patrol After 7 Years of Service

Kirpy retired from CBP after seven years of service.

By Steve Neavling

Kirpy, a Belgian Malinois that has served with U.S. Customs and Border Protection since he was a puppy, has retired. 

Kirpy was born on Thanksgiving Day in 2012 at the CBP Canine Center in El Paso and at four moths old was reared and trained at the Yuma Sector in Arizona.

His final shift with his handler Agent Rolando Carbajal was Friday. 

Throughout his seven-year career, Kirpy has detected more than $85,000 worth of marijuana and hashish and more than $140,000 worth of methamphetamine. He also participated in public demonstrations at schools, RV parks and community events. 

“That dog was awesome,” Special Operations Supervisor Mark Sims said in a news release. “We used Kirpy whenever we had demos. He could do it all and his temperament was really good.”

Kirpy was named after fallen Nogales Border Patrol Agent Alexander Kirpnick, who was killed in the line of duty on June 3, 1998, while trying to arrest smuggling suspects.   

Kirpy is now enjoying retirement with Carbajal’s son, and he’s already gone on a fishing trip. 

“He’s loving retirement,” Carbajal said. “He’s able to come inside and hang out. Everything is new [for him].”

HSI Returns Nearly 300 Pre-Columbia Artifacts to Mexican Officials

One of the recovered artifacts. Photo courtesy of Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

Homeland Security Investigations returned nearly 300 pre-Columbia artifacts to Mexican officials this week during a repatriation ceremony at the Mexican Consulate in Nogales. 

The 277 pieces included arrow heads, axe heads, hammer heads, spear heads and small stone carvings that were between 1,000 and 5,000 years old and “of significant cultural value,” HSI said in a news release.

The repatriation follows two separate HSI investigations by special agents in Phoenix and Nogales. 

Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix, presented the relics to Ricardo Santana, Mexican consul general ambassador in Nogales, and Jose Luis Perea, director of the Mexican Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) in Sonora.

“The cultural significance of artifacts from regions around the world extends beyond any monetary value,” Brown said. “The pieces, like those discovered, are fragments of history; and it is an honor to return them to their rightful home country. HSI fully supports the importance of antiquities and cultural property, and it is through these repatriations that new generations are able to experience a part of their nation’s story.”

Perara said the timing was culturaly significant. 

“This repatriation comes at an opportune time, in the year of a very significant commemoration for Mexico – the 500th anniversary of the taking of Tenochtitlan, which was a heartrending encounter between the cultural universes of Western Europe and America,” Perea said. “This event allows us to deeply recognize the pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico, as well as the resistance and presence of its contemporary indigenous peoples.”

HSI conducts investigations for the Department of Homeland Security. Among its roles is investigating thefts of cultural property. 

Border Patrol Agents Rescue Father, Toddler Swept Away in Canal

Agents and residents helped save the life of a father and son.

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents are credited with saving the life of a father and his two-year-old boy who were swept away in a canal by strong currents in Yuma, Ariz. 

An air interdiction agent who was piloting a helicopter spotted the father and son struggling to swim in the Salanity Canal on Monday evening. The pilot threw rescue lines to the father, but to no avail. 

A Yuma Station agent removed his uniform and jumped into the canal, rescuing the boy with the help of other agents and citizens, who also pulled the 23-year-old father from the water. 

The father and son were treated for hypothermia at a local hospital. 

CBP said the father was an undocumented immigrant. 

Border Patrol Agents Save Man’s Life in Arizona

Border Patrol agents save a man’s life, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Sector are credited with saving a man’s life after he was found unconscious near the Andrade Port of Entry in Arizona. 

A Border Patrol agent was driving along Andrade Road at 3 a.m. when he spotted a 60-year-old man on the ground. He stopped to help the man and called other agents who are registered EMTs. He also called for an ambulance. 

EMTs provided oxygen to the man, who had labored breathing and a weak pulse. Suspecting a narcotic overdose, they administered NARCAN. 

Rural Metro medics arrived shortly after and provided him with medical treatment. The man regained consciousness after medics administered an additional treatment of NARCAN. 

At the Yuma Sector, 62 agents are trained as EMTs, and an additional five are working on their certification, Border Patrol said in a news release

“The life-saving efforts displayed by the Yuma Station Border Patrol agents and EMTs is a testament to their commitment to serve the general public in their time of need,” Yuma Station’s Acting Patrol Agent in Charge Kyle Harvick said. “Border security provides a safer community in many aspects. This incident and the care provided by the Yuma Station EMTs is just one of many examples. We hope the subject involved in this incident experiences a healthy recovery.”

Chris Clem Takes Helm at Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector

Chris T. Clem, chief patrol agent in the Yuma Sector.

By Steve Neavling

Chris T. Clem, a 25-year veteran of the Border Patrol, has been tapped to serve as chief patrol agent in the Yuma Sector in Arizona. 

The appointment comes just five months after he took the helm at Border Patrol’s Big Bend Sector. He replaces Anthony Porvaznik, who recently retired after serving in the position for more than five years.

Clem’s joined the Border Patrol in 1995 at the Lordsburg Station in the El Paso Sector. 

During his career, he held a variety of leadership positions, including senior patrol agent, supervisory border patrol agent, field operations supervisor, and patrol agent in charge, as well as associate, assistant and deputy chief patrol agent. He also served as a canine handler, and intelligence agent and a firearms instructor. 

Clem has worked out of Border Patrol stations in Lordsburg, New Mexico and Casa Grande, Arizona; as well as stations across the southern Texas Border. He also worked at Border Patrol Headquarters in Washington D.C.

A native of New Orleans who grew up in Houston, Clem earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in leadership management.  from Sam Houston State University.

Yuma Sector includes 126 miles of international border with Mexico and 181,000 square miles. There are three stations – Yuma, Wellton and Blythe – and three checkpoints, with more than 700 Border Patrol agents.

Border Patrol Report Spike in Drug-Smuggling Drones Because of New Border Wall

Construction of new border wall, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

The construction of a new wall near the U.S.-Mexico border has forced drug smugglers to find other ways to get narcotics into the U.S. 

So many drug smugglers are resorting to drones that that Border Patrol is urging residents in southwest Arizona to help spot and report the flying objects, The Washington Times reports

It’s not easy for Border Patrol agents to detect drones. 

“We are reaching out to the public to help us out should they see anything suspicious that may be a drone being used illicitly,” Agent Benjamin Rodriguez, Border Patrol liaison for the Yuma region said. 

Since it’s difficult to detect drones, it’s impossible to say how many drug-smuggling drones are in use. But one thing is for certain: The Yuma Sector is seeing an increase. 

There were no drone detections in the last three months of 2019. By contrast, agents detected seven from October to last week, according to Macario Mora, a spokesman for the sector .

Border Patrol Agent Repeatedly Stabbed, Then Fatally Shoots Suspect Near Nogales

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent was repeatedly stabbed Monday night while trying to arrest what appeared to be a group of undocumented immigrants near Nogales, Ariz.

The agent, who is in his 30s, shot and killed the suspect, CBP leaders said.

The unnamed agent, who was airlifted to a hospital in Tucson in unknown condition, was patrolling on foot about 25 miles east of Nogales along the U.S.-Mexico border when he discovered the group and tried to apprehend them at about 7 p.m.

The FBI is investigating.

“I hope he wasn’t alone,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada told The Tucson Sentinel. “That’s remote, dangerous territory.”