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Tag: california

Border Patrol Agent Laid to Rest in California After He Was Struck with Car

Funeral services for fallen Border Patrol Agent Alejandro. Flores-Bañuelos

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent killed while trying to help a motorist in Southern California on March 15 was laid to rest this week. 

Law enforcement officials said goodbye to Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos, of the El Centro Sector, at services held Tuesday at Riverside National Cemetery Amphitheater.  

Flores-Bañuelos, 35, was called to a report of a collision on state Route 86 near Salton City. When he arrived, he began helping a 75-year-old woman whose car had become disabled in the road during a dust storm. A car stuck both the agent and the woman’s car. 

Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos (courtesy of Border Patrol)

Flores-Bañuelos, who was assigned to the Indio Station, was pronounced dead at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. 

Flores-Bañuelos left behind a wife and three children. 

Before joining Border Patrol, Flores-Bañuelos served in the U.S. Marine Corps. 

“Yesterday was a difficult day for El Centro Sector as we laid our brother to rest,” the El Centro Sector posted on Facebook.

“With heavy hearts we heard our dispatch call his star number, India-203, for a safety check one more time.  A call he will no longer be able to answer. We watched his horse pass by without his rider, leaving behind indelible sadness, yet grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside him.”

CBP Officer Charged with Excessive Force, Faces Up to 10 Years in Prison

CBP officer (Photo: CBP via Twitter)

By Steve Neavling

A Customs and Border Protection officer from the Calexico office has been charged with using unreasonable force on a person seeking admission into the U.S. from Mexico. 

Officer Marcos Valenzuela, 29, of El Centro, Calif., injured the unidentified person while on duty at the Calexico West Port of Entry in August 2019, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday. 

“The protection of the civil rights of all persons entering the United States remains a high priority of the Justice Department, and our office in particular,” Acting U.S. Attorney Grossman said in a news release. “All allegations of excessive force by law enforcement officers are investigated thoroughly and carefully reviewed to ensure public confidence in our commitment to redressing violations of Constitutional rights.” 

Details of the allegations weren’t immediately clear. 

“No one is above the law and this indictment should assure the public that the FBI is committed to rooting out any public servant who violates their oath – regardless of where they work,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner said. “Actions such as the ones alleged in this case violate an officer’s oath, the public’s trust, and damage law enforcement’s reputation. I want to thank Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility for their collaboration and partnership in bringing this case to fruition.”

Valenzuela, who faces up to 10 years in prison, is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court for a motion hearing on May 21. 

“All CBP employees are required and expected to abide by all laws they enforce,” CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth Cervantes said. “CBP stresses professionalism, honor, and integrity in every aspect of its mission and CBP OPR is fully committed to investigating all allegations of misconduct while supporting the men and women who proudly uphold their duties to serve and protect.”

GoFundMe Campaign Launched for Family of Border Patrol Agent Killed While Helping Motorist

Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos (courtesy of Border Patrol)

By Steve Neavling

A fundraising campaign was launched for the family of a Border Patrol agent who was killed Monday while trying to help a motorists involved in a crash in Southern California. 

The GoFundMe campaign raised more than $67,000 as of Friday morning for the family of Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos, a 12-year Border Patrol veteran who was fatally stuck by a car. 

Flores-Bañuelos left behind a wife and three children. 

“All funds will be going directly to his family to assist them with their loss and to help with future expenses,” the campaign states. 

Flores-Bañuelos, 35, was called to a report of a collision on state Route 86 near Salton City at about 4:20 p.m. Monday. When he arrived, he began helping a 75-year-old woman whose car had become disabled in the road during a dust storm. A car stuck both the agent and the woman’s car. Flores-Bañuelos, who was assigned to the Indio Station, was pronounced dead at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. 

The elderly driver was injured and sent to a hospital. 

On-Duty Border Patrol Agent Killed While Helping Driver in Collision

By Steve Neavling

An on-duty Border Patrol agent was killed Monday after he was struck by a car while trying to help a motorist involved in a crash in Salton City, Ca.

Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos, 35, was called to a report of a collision on state Route 86 at about 4:20 p.m. Monday, The Los Angeles Times reports

When he arrived, he began helping a 75-year-old woman whose car had become disabled in the road during a dust storm. A car stuck both the agent and the woman’s car. 

Flores-Bañuelos, a 12-year-veteran assigned to the Indio Station, was pronounced dead at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. 

The elderly driver was injured and sent to a hospital. 

“It is with a profound sense of loss that we mourn the passing of one of our own, Border Patrol Agent Alejandro Flores,” El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino said Tuesday. “The men and women of the El Centro Sector will be deeply impacted by this tragic loss.”

Two Men Charged in Theft of FBI Agent’s Gun, Credentials, But Glock-22 Still Missing

Authorities arrested and charged two men they believe are involved in the smash-and-grab theft of an FBI agent’s gun and credentials near San Francisco on Feb. 20.  

But law enforcement didn’t recover the agent’s .40 caliber Glock-22, badge, identification or key card, which apparently were kept in a backpack in the agent’s car, The Mercury News reports.

One of the suspects, Marvin Raul Guerra, who is accused of breaking into the agent’s car, allegedly confessed to the break-in and said he and his co-conspirator threw the gun and credentials out of the window of the getaway car when they realized it belonged to law enforcement. 

Also charged was Jose Ochoa Gutierrez, who is accused of driving the getaway car. He’s accused of aiding and abetting theft of government property. 

Authorities did recover protein bars that were inside the agent’s backpack.

The agent and his wife were eating at a downtown Lafyette restaurant on Saturday when the theft occurred. 

Gun, Badge, Credentials Stolen from FBI Agent’s Car Near San Francisco

A thief stole a gun, badge and credentials from an FBI agent’s car near San Francisco over the weekend. 

The theft occurred at about 12:15 p.m. Saturday in Lafayette, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Stolen were a .40 caliber Glove 22 pistol and FBI badge and credentials. 

It wasn’t immediately clear where the items were stored in the car. 

“The investigation remains ongoing and we cannot provide further comment at this time,” the bureau said in a brief statement. 

The FBI is working on the case with the Lafayette Police Department.

Man Shoots Himself Outside FBI’s San Diego Field Office

FBI’s San Diego Field Office. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

A man shot himself outside of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office on Wednesday  after displaying a handgun. 

At about 4 p.m., FBI agents responded to the scene, where the bureau said the man appeared to be suicidal. 

FBI crisis negotiators, bomb techs and SWAT agents were on the way when the man turned the gun on himself. 

“Agents rendered medical aid and paramedics were called,” the FBI said in a statement. “The man is being transported to the nearest medical facility and the scene is secure.”

The FBI and San Diego Police Department are investigating. 

It was not immediately clear whether the man survived the self-inflicted shooting. 

Biden Picks Mayorkas to Become First Hispanic, Immigrant to Lead Homeland Security

Alejandro Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden tapped Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first immigrant and Hispanic to lead the Department of Homeland Security. 

Mayorkas, 61, served as deputy homeland security secretary from 2013 to 2016 under President Obama. A former U.S. attorney in California, Mayorkas also served as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during Obama’s first term. 

Born in Cuba, Mayorkas and her family arrived as refugees in the 1960s, settling in Southern California. His mother was a Holocaust survivor. Mayorkas graduated from the University of California-Berkeley and earned a law degree from Loyola Law School. 

“When I was very young, the United States provided my family and me a place of refuge,” Mayorkas tweeted. “Now, I have been nominated to be the DHS Secretary and oversee the protection of all Americans and those who flee persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones.”