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Tag: Border Patrol

Border Patrol Agents Rescue 25 Undocumented Migrants from Freezing Trailer

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents rescued 25 undocumented migrants from a locked trailer in Texas. 

The migrants had no heat and no means of escape when agents assigned to the Sierra Blanca Station rescued them on the morning of Jan. 5, the agency announced.

Some of the migrants, who were part of a failed smuggling operation, were crying, shivering and distraught when they were found. 

“There have been significant rescues as of late by our agents where individuals were left in hazardous conditions and required immediate medical attention,” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin said. “Transnational criminal organizations have no concern for humanity, they continually place lives in danger.”

Last year, fast-acting Border Patrol agents – some of them off-duty – sprung to action when they saw people in danger. They were credited with saving lives.

Border Patrol Chief Ortiz Tests Positive for COVID-19

Deputy Chief of Border Patrol Raul Ortiz.

By Steve Neavling

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19. 

“Earlier today I was set to receive my Booster but was feeling symptomatic and took a #COVID test,” Ortiz said on Twitter. “I tested positive and am self-isolating, hopeful to feel better. My symptoms may have been worse had I not been vaccinated.”

Ortiz encouraged others to get vaccinated. 

“I urge everyone to follow the guidance from health professionals and get vaccinate(d). I am one of hundreds of #USBP personnel in quarantine. Our frontline agents have battled this virus from the onset and I commend them. We will continue to be #vigilant as we protect our nation.”

In October, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tested positive for COVID-19. 

CBP Deletes Border Patrol Official’s Tweet about Arrest of ‘Potential Terrorist’

Photo: Shuttersotck

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol official’s tweet that said agents detained a “potential terrorist” was deleted because CBP said it violated protocols and contained “law enforcement sensitive information,” Fox News reports.

In a tweet on Dec. 20, Yuma Sector Chief Chris Clem said an unidentified 21-year-old man was arrested near Yuma, Ariz., the previous week. 

“#USBP #YumaSector agents apprehended a potential terrorist who illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico Thursday night,” Clem wrote. “The 21-year-old migrant from Saudi Arabia is linked to several Yemeni subjects of interest. #BorderSecurity is #NationalSecurity.”

In a statement, CBP spokesman Luis Miranda said the post was removed because “it contained law enforcement sensitive information, violating agency protocols.”

“All individuals encountered at or between U.S. ports of entry are screened and vetted against a broad range of law enforcement and intelligence information to determine if they pose a threat to national security or public safety, consistent with the law,” Miranda said.

Miranda added that the investigation is ongoing. 

Soon after Clem’s tweet, the Saudi embassy said the man pictured in the tweet was “not a Saudi citizen.”

Former CBP Officer Sentenced to Probation in Plot to Intimidate Victim of Son’s Sex Crimes

Elizabeth Landeros

By Steve Neavling

A former CBP officer who attempted to interfere in a sex crimes investigation involving her son has been sentenced to three years of probation. 

Elizabeth Landeros, 44, who resigned as part of a sentencing agreement, was accused of trying to intimidate a victim who had accused her son of child molestation. 

Landeros’ son was indicted on five counts of sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15 in June 2018. Prosecutors said Landeros used various law enforcement databases to search for the victim’s personal information and then conspired to pressure the victim to recant the allegations against her son.

The FBI, Homeland Security and Office of Inspector General investigated the case. 

Landeros was sentenced in Pima County Superior Court. 

Here’s a copy of the sentencing agreement.

CBP’s Entire Workforce Awarded Homeland Security Person of the Year

Executive Assistant Commissioner of Enterprise Services Benjamine “Carry” Huffman accepts the award from Kristina Tanasichuk, founder and CEO of the Government Technology and Services Coalition and executive editor of Homeland Security Today.

By Steve Neavling

U.S. Customs and Border Protection was given the 2021 Homeland Security Person of the Year award for its commitment to protecting Americans and safeguarding the borders. 

The award, which honors people who serve the homeland security mission, was given by Homeland Security Today to the entire 60,000-plus CBP workforce.

“I want to offer my sincere thanks to Homeland Security Today for recognizing us with this prestigious award,” Executive Assistant Commissioner Benjamine “Carry” Huffman said. “The men and women of CBP work tirelessly each day to ensure the safety of our borders and facilitate legitimate trade and travel throughout the worst pandemic in recent history, and it is humbling that Homeland Security Today sees and appreciates them.” 

CBP, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency with regular interaction with the public, continued its mission in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also helped the country rebound economically by preventing counterfeit goods from entering the country.

According to a news release: CBP’s numbers illustrate the agency’s impact:

“Air and Marine and Border Patrol personnel performed over 13,000 rescues in Fiscal Year 2021 of migrants left in dangerous situations by smugglers along the land and sea borders. CBP has adapted to changing migration patterns, deftly managing and surging resources as necessary, and performing admirable humanitarian work in the process. CBP personnel helped deliver 30 babies and provided excellent care to over 147,000 children over the course of the fiscal year. At the frontline of upholding U.S. Intellectual Property Rights, CBP fights to protect America’s innovation economy and the health and safety of consumers. In November alone, CBP seized nearly 1,545 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $335 million.

In November 2021, CBP reopened the U.S. land and ferry ports of entry to non-essential travel, ensuring a smooth opening and working to process vehicles as quickly and safely as possible. In addition, CBP worked to fight forced labor, issuing seven Withhold Release Orders and two forced labor Findings. CBP’s award-winning forced labor team fought to make global supply chains more humane and more secure”.

Border Patrol Agent Struck by Suspected Drunken Driver Along Checkpoint in California

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A suspected drunken driver struck a Border Patrol agent at a freeway checkpoint in southern California early Monday morning. 

The Mini Cooper was traveling about 60 mph at about 2:30 a.m. when it hit the agent, who was working the checkpoint with “all the lanes lit up and traffic cone pattern set up” on I-15 near Rainbow Valley Boulevard, California Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Lassig said, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The agent had major injuries and was rushed to the hospital, where he was in stable condition, Lassig said. 

The 30-year-old driver continued driving after hitting the agent before pulling over less than a mile down the freeway, Lassig said.

The driver, of San Bernardino, was arrested and faces charge of driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run. 

Vast Majority of TSA, CBP Employees Are Now in Compliance with Vaccine Mandate

By Steve Neavling

An increasing number of Border Patrol agents and TSA employees are getting vaccinated in compliance with President Biden’s executive order, according to updated data. 

As of Nov. 30, 96% of Homeland Security employees were in compliance. 

About 88% of employees are fully vaccinated, and 89% have received at least one dose. About 7% have “reasonable accommodation requests” and don’t have to get vaccinated, according to the data. 

“The health and safety of our workforce – and the American people that we serve – is of the utmost importance,” Homeland Security Deputy Secretary John Tien said in a statement. “Importantly, we have achieved this level of compliance without any interruption to the critical missions and services we provide the American people: from border and aviation security, to maritime search and rescue, to cybersecurity and the protection of critical infrastructure, just to name a few.  I am so grateful to our dedicated workforce, who have stepped up and done their part to get us there.”  

About 98% of CBP employees are in compliance, and 87% are vaccinated. An additional 11% are exempt. 

In the TSA, 93% are in compliance, with 86% vaccinated and 7% exempt. 

In November, some Republican lawmakers were calling for Border Patrol agents to be exempt from the executive order, saying national security is at stake. At the time, about 77% of agents were fully vaccinated.

Data by Homeland Security

Border Patrol Agent Dies in Line of Duty

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent from the Tucson Sector has died in the line of duty. 

Supervisory Patrol Agent Martin Barrios died on Nov. 29, the agency announced Friday. 

“The entire USBP family mourns the loss of Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Martin Barrios,” U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz tweeted Friday. “Please keep his family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts.”

Details of Barrios’ death weren’t immediately clear. 

John R. Modlin, chief patrol agent of the Tucson Border Control Sector, added on Twitter, “Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones. We will always remember his service.”

Barrios joined Border Patrol in April 2013 after serving in the Navy.   

To honor Barrios, Arizona Governor Doug Duceuy ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff.