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Tag: El Paso

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Killed in Car Crash in Texas

Border Patrol Agent Fernando Morales.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent assigned to the Del Rio Sector was killed in a car crash Monday night in Texas.

Fernando Morales, 51, was driving a 2017 Volkswagen Passat on U.S. 277 near Del Rio when a 2016 Freightliner truck veered into oncoming traffic in a no-passing zone, KRQE reports.

“I am deeply saddened to inform you of the off duty death of Border Patrol Agent Fernando Morales,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin Skero tweeted Wednesday. “He is survived by his wife and four children. On behalf of our sector family, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues as we mourn his passing.”

Morales is a native of El Paso and graduated from Irvin High School.

Witnesses Offer Differing Account of Border Patrol Chase That Ended with 10 Dead in El Paso

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Some witnesses are contradicting Border Patrol’s claims that its agents stopped chasing a speeding vehicle that crashed and killed seven occupants in downtown El Paso on June 25.

Border Patrol officials said agents called off the pursuit because of the dangerous speed.

But witnesses told The Dallas Morning News that agents were still chasing the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze when it crashed into a parked trailer at 2:15 a.m. Two security guards said they saw the Border Patrol vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed with its headlights on and no sirens.

El Paso police are investigating.

“Was there a chase before the crash? Yes. Did it cause the crash? I don’t know,” Police spokesman Robert Gomez said.

At the time of the crash, 10 people were inside the car. Three were injured and remain in the hospital.

Authorities said the car was involved in human smuggling.

“All preliminary information collected thus far indicates that it was indeed a human smuggling event,” Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector Gloria Chavez said in a statement.

Car Crash That Killed 7 People in El Paso Was Involved in Human Smuggling

Border marker at San Ysidro Port of Entry, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The car crash that killed seven people in downtown El Paso on Thursday was involved in human smuggling.

The car was fleeing Border Patrol agents when it crashed into a trailer at 2:15 a.m.

Among those killed were at least three undocumented immigrants who were being smuggled into the U.S. and four El Paso residents, including the 18-year-old driver The Daily Mail reports.

A Mexican man and two unidentified people also were killed.

Among the injured were Mexico native Omar Garcia Hernandez, 18, Guatemalan national Wilbur Gomez, 25, and an unnamed 16-year-old from Mexico.

“All preliminary information collected thus far indicates that it was indeed a human smuggling event,” Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector Gloria Chavez said in a statement.

A sensor alerted agents to the four-door sedan in Sunland Park, New Mexico, an area near the border that is know for human smuggling.

The driver fled by accelerating at a high rate of speed. Agents called off the chase because of the dangerous speed.

Soon after, the agents spotted the car, which had crashed into a trailer on private property.

“I cannot stress enough how Transnational Criminal Organizations continue to exploit human beings and manipulate the youth in our communities by recruiting them to be their mules and their smugglers,” Chavez said.

“Human smuggling is as lucrative as drug smuggling, if not more, and our youth are being targeted.”

Border Patrol Chase Led to Crash That Killed 7 People in Downtown El Paso

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A car fleeing the Border Patrol crashed in downtown El Paso on Thursday morning, killing seven people and injuring three others.

The chase began after Border Patrol agents tried to stop a gray Chevrolet Cruze packed with 10 people shortly after 2 a.m. on West Paisano Drive near Union Depot, The El Paso Times reports.

The driver lost control of the car on a curve in the road, crossing a small gravel median, and crashing through a chain-link fence before striking a parked trailer. The car was torn in two.

The El Paso County medical examiner is trying to identify the dead.

“U.S. Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Santa Teresa and El Paso Stations attempted to stop a vehicle,” Border Patrol said in a news release. “The vehicle fled and was subsequently involved in a motor vehicle accident with multiple fatalities.”

The statement added, “At this time, the U.S. Border Patrol is cooperating with the active investigation, which is being led by the El Paso Police Department. The incident is also under review by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility.”

FBI Investigating Disappearance of $500,000+ from National Border Patrol Council Funds

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine what happened to more than $500,000 that is missing from the union that represents about 20,000 Border Patrol agents.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told ProPublica that the FBI’s investigation is targeting an apparent embezzlement scheme involving the bank accounts of the union’s El Paso branch, where money went missing in recent years.

“We know the FBI is looking at it,” Judd said.

In November, Judd notified agents in El Paso that money was missing. In a recording of that meeting, Judd said that the union hired forensic auditors, who found “$352,389.31 that was misappropriated. They also found that there was another $150,035.65 that was not properly paid to the IRS in tax money. Somebody pocketed it, just up and walked away.”

Judd told agents, “We expect there will be indictments.”

The FBI did not comment on the investigation.

City of El Paso Changes Name of Dog Park to Honor Border Patrol K-9 Killed in Line of Duty

5-year-old Belgian Malinois, Bulder.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A dog park in El Paso will be named after Bulder, the Border Patrol K-9 killed in the line of duty in December.

The city of El Paso wants to honor the courageous dog, a 5 -year-old Belgian Malinois.

“People just think it’s a dog. It’s actually a partner. It’s an agent,” Tim Sullivan, chief patrol agent with U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group, said, according to Border Report. “So, this resolution honors him and the sacrifice he made while protecting the other agents.”

Bulder was killed during a shootout that occurred as agents tried to execute a search warrant at a home in El Paso.

The 62-year-old suspect who killed the dog out in a shootout was fatally shot with return fire.

“El Paso has a big heart for our pets and of course for the men and women who serve our community,” City Rep. Claudia Ordaz-Perez said. “So we thought it was just fitting that the only dog splash park in the community that we name this park after K9 Agent Bulder to forever serve in our memories.”

ATF K-9 Killed During Shootout at El Paso Home

The 5-year-old Belgian Malinois died at the scene.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol K-9 was killed during a shootout that occurred as agents tried to execute a search warrant at a home in El Paso.

The 62-year-old suspect shot at agents from his backyard at 6 a.m. Tuesday, striking the 5-year-old dog, The El Paso Times reports. The Belgian Malinois named Boulder died at the scene.

The suspect was fatally shot with return fire.

The arrest warrant involved illegal firearms.

No one else was injured.

Luis M. Quesada Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s El Paso Field Office

Luis M. Quesada

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Luis M. Quesada, who began his career in law enforcement as a Miami police officer, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s El Paso Field Office in Texas.

Quesada, who most recently he served in the Training Division in Quantico, joined the FBI as a special agent in 1995 and began working in the Miami Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes with a focus on bank robberies, extortion, and kidnappings. In 1998, Quesada voluntarily transferred to the San Juan Field Office in Puerto Rico before returning to Miami in 2001 to investigates drugs. In both offices, Quesada served on the SWAT teams.

Quesada was promoted in 2003 to supervisory special agent and began working in the Counterterrorism Division of the Terrorist Screening Center, which manages and operates the nation’s terrorist watch list.

In 2005, he transferred to the FBI Academy in Quantico as a defensive tactics instructor. Quesada returned to Miami two years later as the supervisor of the violent gang and high-intensity drug trafficking area task force. He later became the acting assistant special agent in charge of Miami’s Criminal Branch.

In 2010, Quesada became the assistant legal attaché in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he promoted FBI interests in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

In 2012, Quesada was promoted to a unit chief position in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, focusing on counter-narcotics efforts in Latin America and the U.S. Southwest border.

In 2014, Quesada became legal attaché of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, focusing on counterterrorism threats throughout the Balkans and the U.S.

A year later, Quesada became the assistant special agent in charge of the Criminal Branch in the Jackson Field Office in Mississippi. In 2017, he was appointed to assistant section chief in the Training Division, and a year later was promoted to section chief of the division’s Training Services Section.

Quesada earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Florida International University.