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Tag: border crossing

CBP Agent Convicted of Using Excessive Force at Border Crossing

CBP officer (Photo: CBP via Twitter)

By Steve Neavling

A CBP officer who yanked a driver from his car and shoved him to the ground at a border crossing was convicted Wednesday of using unreasonable force. 

A federal jury found Marcos Valenzuela guilty of deprivation of rights under color of law and falsification of records in a federal investigation. 

The incident occurred on Aug. 16, 2019, when Valenzuela was assigned to primary vehicle inspection at the Calexico West Port Entry between Mexico and Southern California. A driver got out of his car to confront a motorcyclist for cutting in front of his vehicle. 

Valenzuela instructed the man to return to his car or he would “throw him to the ground.” The driver complied, but Valenzuela continued to yell at him and eventually ordered him to get out of his car. While the driver was turning off his vehicle, Valenzuela pulled him out of the car and threw him to the ground, causing minor injuries to his neck forehead and forearm. 

Valenzuela handcuffed the driver and told officials in the security office that the driver was the aggressor. Valenzuela also made numerous false statements in a follow-up report, prosecutors said. 

“The jury has found that Marcos Valenzuela used excessive force and deprived a United States citizen of his right under the Fourth Amendment to be free from unreasonable search and seizure,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office takes every allegation of excessive force by law enforcement officers very seriously, and where those allegations are supported by the evidence, we will take the appropriate action to ensure that the transgressors are held accountable.  Along with our law enforcement agency partners, we are dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of all members of our community.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner added, “Today’s guilty verdict demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to holding everyone accountable for their criminal actions, regardless of the position they hold.”

Valenzuela is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8. 

“CBP employees and officers take an Oath of Office, a solemn pledge that conveys great responsibility and one that should be carried out at all times with the utmost professionalism,” Elizabeth Cervantes, special agent in charge of the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility in San Diego, said. “CBP employees who disregard that oath and instead choose to violate the trust of the citizens they swore to protect will be held accountable.  CBP will continue to work with our partners at other agencies to seek out and investigate any instance of abuse. This layered approach and collaboration among federal agencies is critical to the mission of professional integrity. Although the percentage of prosecutions for abuse is very small, no incident is tolerated.”

Robots to Help Border Patrol Capture Illegal Activity in Tunnel Systems Between Mexico, U.S.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Tunnel systems that run between the U.S. and Mexico border are used to transport drugs, people, weapons and other illegal material.

Now, Border Patrol agents are using robot technology to detect tunnels, the Associated Press reports.

Agents in Tucson, Ariz., plan to demonstrate the “tunnel robots” Tuesday.

According to CBP, tunnels are becoming increasingly popular for criminal organizations.

More than 75 tunnels have been found between the border since 2008, the AP wrote.

Border Patrol Agent Finds 2-Year-Old Boy Left Behind in Desert in New Mexico

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are trying to figure out the identity of a 2-year-old boy who was found in the desert, the El Paso Times reports.

A Border Patrol agent spotted the child and a man between Anapra and the Santa Teresa point of entry in New Mexico.

The man fled back to Mexico and left the boy behind.

Authorities said the boy appeared to be in good health, the El Paso Times reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Unruly Group of More Than 100 Migrants Attacks Border Patrol Agents at Mexican Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents came under attack by more than 100 people throwing rocks and bottles, CNN reports.

No serious injuries were reported.

The unruly group ignored stop orders from a Border Patrol agent and attempted to cross from the San Ysidro Port of Entry in California.

Not even fire pellets with pepper power stopped the group.

“The crowd became increasingly unruly and began throwing rocks and bottles,” the agency said.

The group eventually retreated and escaped arrest, CNN reported.

Border Patrol Prepares More Monitoring of Canadian Border in Detroit with New Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — In an effort to prevent terrorists from crossing the Canadian Border into the U.S., Border Patrol agents are gearing up for a new $17 million facility in Detroit, WWJ reports.

Agents gathered for a groundbreaking this week.

“We share intelligence, anything that’s got a nexus to the border and through the sharing of this intelligence we’re not working in silos so can coordinate efforts and basically maximize operations (and) security as a result of that,” Serge Cote, the officer in charge of the Windsor Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told WWJ.

The new building will offer more office space and parking and will provide new training facilities.

About 100 Border Patrol employees are expected to work there.

Sen. McCain Says Border Patrol Doesn’t Need Additional 20,000 Agents

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Sen. John McCain, who is taking the lead on immigration reforms, said the Border Patrol doesn’t need an additional 20,000 agents, Politic365 reports.

What it needs, McCain said, is “use of technology that has been developed where we can survey the border more effectively.”

McCain spoke at an AFL-CIO immigration forum Wednesday.

The Senate in late June approved an immigration bill amendment that cost $40 billion, largely to hire the 20,000 agents.

It’s unclear whether McCain will be able to convince his colleagues that the bill is overkill.

Mystery Continues Over Cause of Border Patrol Agents’ Illness in New York

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Authorities are not sure how six U.S. border agents became ill after inspecting a vehicle at a crossing in northern New York, The Associated Press reports.

The officer became ill Saturday morning while examining a 2002 BMW at the Champlain crossing.

The officers, who were decontaminated on site, have been released from the hospital, The AP wrote.

The driver of the car was charged with marijuana and meth possession.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Homeland Security Considers Charging a Fee to Cross Border to Finance Increased Costs of Protection