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Tag: Border Patrol

Top CBP Official Resigned Amid Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A top CBP official resigned in October following allegations of sexual misconduct against multiple women who worked with him, NBC News reports.

The agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility is now investigating Tony Barker, the former acting chief of Border Patrol’s law enforcement operations directorate, on allegations that include threatening one female employee to get sexual favors. 

That employee alerted DHS to the allegations, leading to more women coming forward with similar complaints, three sources told NBC News

Barker served for two decades before quietly leaving his post in October. 

“The allegations that I pressured any woman for sexual favors or victimized them are entirely and unequivocally false,” Barker said in a statement. “I am proud of my 21 years of service with the U.S. Border Patrol. I am now taking this time to focus on my family and seek other opportunities.”

A CBP spokesperson said, “As of Oct. 14, 2022, Tony Barker is no longer an employee of the U.S. Border Patrol.

“We do not tolerate misconduct within our ranks. When we discover any alleged or potential misconduct, we immediately refer it for investigation and cooperate fully with any criminal or administrative investigations. This is the case whether the alleged misconduct occurs on or off duty. Federal privacy laws prohibit discussion of individual cases.”

Border Patrol Agent Killed in Off-Duty Accident, Leaving Behind Pregnant Wife

Border Patrol Agent Hunter Labombard

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent was killed in an off-duty accident this week, and a fundraiser is being held to help his family.

Agent Hunter Labombard of the Corrizo Springs Station died Wednesday after an undisclosed accident, CBP announced Thursday. 

A GoFundMe campaign was launched for Labombard’s family.

His wife, Zoe, is seven months pregnant. 

“Hunter loved his family very much and did everything he could to take care of them,” the GoFundMe campaign states. “Let’s show our support to our brother in green and his family.”

No more information was available Friday morning. 

Suspected Human Smuggler Charged with Shooting Border Patrol Agent in Chest

By Steve Neavling

A suspected human smuggler is accused of shooting a Border Patrol agent twice in the chest during a traffic stop in New Mexico. 

The unidentified agent was protected by body armor and fired back at the suspect, Roberto Esquivel, KRQE reports.

The encounter occurred on New Mexico Highway 146 near Animas on Jan. 5, when the agent pulled over Esquivel for suspicious behavior. 

Five other people in the car admitted they were from Mexico and weren’t properly documented. 

The encounter turned violent when the agent asked Esquivel to step out of the vehicle. Esquivel shot the agent twice in the chest before the agent fired back. 

Esquivel sped off but crashed his car a few miles down the road. 

Six people were arrested, and two were being treated at a hospital in El Paso. 

Esquivel allegedly admitted during an interview that he was driving the migrants to Deming for $300 per person. 

Esquivel is facing four charges, including attempted murder of a U.S. officer.

Knife-Wielding Undocumented Immigrant Sentenced to Prison After Attacking Border Patrol Agent

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

An undocumented immigrant who attacked a Border Patrol agent in southern Arizona in January was sentenced to seven to nine years in federal prison on Thursday. 

Rey David Marquez pleaded guilty to attempted murder of a federal officer in October.

The FBI said a Border Patrol agent was trying to handcuff Marquez in Hereford when the man punched the agent several times and tried to take his firearm from his holster, Herald/Review Media reports.

After a struggle for the weapon, Marquez tried to stab the agent with a knife. The agent was able to gain control of the knife, and Marquez was captured by other Border Patrol agents after he fled. 

CBP Investigates Agent Who Body-Slammed Man to Ground Outside Homeless Shelter

CBP agents body-slams a man outside a homeless shelter in El Paso.

By Steve Neavling

CBP is investigating one of its agents for lifting and slamming a person to the ground outside a homeless shelter in El Paso. 

The incident was captured on surveillance footage released by El Paso’s Opportunity Center for the Homeless. 

A deputy director at the homeless shelter said the man stepped outside for a smoke break when the incident occurred. 

It wasn’t clear if the man was undocumented or why agents approached him. 

CBP said in a statement that it’s taking the incident seriously. 

“Although at the moment we do not have all the details of what occurred during this incident, CBP takes all allegations of misconduct seriously, investigates thoroughly, and holds employees accountable when policies are violated,” CBP said. 

Border Patrol Agent Shot at Checkpoint in New Mexico, Six Arrested

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent was shot at a checkpoint in New Mexico on Thursday, and six people are in custody. 

The suspects were inside a car when one of them allegedly shot an officer, assigned to the Lordsburg station, in the chest around 11:30 a.m. on State Highway 46, CBP said in a news release.  

The agent, who was wearing body armor and survived the shooting, returned fire as the vehicle sped away. 

The vehicle rolled over in a crash a few miles up the road. 

All six people inside the vehicle were arrested. Two of them were airlifted to a trauma center in El Paso, Texas. 

The FBI, state police and other agencies are investigating. 

Ex-CBP Commissioner Magnus Joins Nonprofit Focused on Police Reform

Former CBP Commissioner and Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus.

By Steve Neavling

Former CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus is joining a nonprofit focused on reforming police departments. 

The move comes less than two months after he was forced to resign as head of CBP, a position he held for less than a year.

Magnus had served as Tucson’s police chief until 2016 and was a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Magnus is joining the Policing Project, a nonprofit at NYU’s School of Law. 

Magnus said there are problems with hiring, training and reform in law enforcement. 

“At CBP for example, that’s going to involve migrants and local community members and stakeholders dealing with issues at the border, you know, issues of use of force apply across the board,” he said, according to Fronteras

Magnus brings with him plenty of experiencing leading police departments. 

“My experience is that communities first of all want agencies to be transparent about what’s going on, even when the news isn’t always good,” he said. “They want data on the website. … They want body camera footage to be available. But they also want accountability in the form of assurance that if they make a complaint, it’s going to be handled.”

Migrants ‘Brought to Justice’ After Assaulting Border Patrol Agents

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

Two migrants have been sentenced for assaulting Border Patrol agents in separate incidents in the Rio Grande Valley. 

They are a Mexican national and Honduran national, according to CBP.

On Feb. 18, while agents were apprehending a group of migrants near Hidalgo, one of them, Carlos David Moreno-Ortega, shoved an agent into the Riot Grande and called on another migrant to hit him with a rock. 

Moreno-Ortega was arrested after a brief struggle. 

On Dec. 15, he was sentenced to 15 months in jail for assaulting a federal officer. 

On April 13, a Honduran national, Alexander Salgado-Merlo, struck an agent with an open palm to the chest and head while the agent from the Rio Grande City station tried to apprehend him in Roma. 

The agent pepper-sprayed Salgado-Merlo and arrested him. 

On Nov. 30, he was sentenced to 14 months in jail for assaulting a federal officer. 

“These types of cases highlight the dangers Border Patrol agents face on a daily basis in the Rio Grande Valley,” RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez said in a statement. “I will always prioritize to seek prosecution of those harming the life and safety of our agents. Thankfully, these perpetrators were brought to justice through the combined efforts of our agents, fellow law enforcement and U.S. Attorney partners working together to keep our law enforcement and communities safe.”