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Tag: ICE

Recent Deaths of 3 Fed Agents Highlight Growing Danger of the Job

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata killed in Mexico/ice photo

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The shooting deaths of two federal agents last week and three in two months highlight the heightened risk to federal investigators who are confronting increasingly violent fugitives, drug traffickers and other criminals, authorities said.

The killing of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Mexico on Tuesday was followed by the slaying of a deputy U.S. marshal in West Virginia on Wednesday, an unusual confluence of events that left officials deeply troubled. A Border Patrol agent was fatally shot in Arizona in December.

The killings, while not connected, come amid a broadening federal role in fighting violent crime that was once left mainly to state authorities, investigators said. Federal-state task forces on violent crime have multiplied since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, bringing federal agents in closer contact with dangerous criminals. And the government says it is pouring resources into fighting drug trafficking and other crimes along the border with Mexico.

“You’re seeing feds playing a much more active role in fighting violent crime, and that’s putting us in harm’s way,” said Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

To read more click here.

Mexican Authorities Say Drug Cartel Shot and Killed ICE Agent

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata/ice photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

No surprise.

Mexican authorities are saying that two ICE agents who were shot in the northern part of the country Tuesday were ambushed on a road about four hours north of Mexico City by drug cartel gunmen, the Washington Post reports. One died and the other was wounded and is stable condition.

The paper reported that the governor of San Luis Potosi, Fernando Toranzo, where the shootings took place, were killed by the same cartel that has wreaked havoc in his state.

The paper reported that the agent killed has been identified as Jaime Zapata, 32. The other agent, whose name has not been released, was taken to a hospital in Houston. They were assigned to the ICE attache in Mexico City.

The paper reported that the Mexican government bans U.S. law enforcement personnel from carrying guns.

A press release said that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. had decided to form a joint task force, led by the FBI, to track down the perpetrators.

Agent Zapata joined ICE in 2006 and was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Special Agent in Charge in Laredo, Tex., where he served on the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit as well as the Border Enforcement Security Task Force, ICE said in a statement.

He began his federal law enforcement career with the Department of Homeland Security as a member of the U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, Az. A native of Brownsville, Tex., he graduated from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

One ICE Agent Shot and Killed and 2nd One Wounded in Mexico

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

NO ONE in Mexico appears safe from the violence that continues to strangle that country.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was killed and another was wounded Tuesday while driving through northern Mexico, the Associated Press reported. The two were assigned  to the ICE attache office in Mexico City.

AP reported that the two agents were driving in the northern state of San Luis Potosi and were stopped at what appeared to be a military checkpoint. At that point, someone opened fire.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, issued a statement saying:

“I’m deeply saddened by the news that earlier today, two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents assigned to the ICE Attaché office in Mexico City were shot in the line of duty while driving between Mexico City and Monterrey by unknown assailants.”

“Let me be clear: any act of violence against our ICE personnel – or any DHS personnel – is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk for our safety. The full resources of our Department are at the disposal of our Mexican partners in this investigation. We remain committed in our broader support for Mexico’s efforts to combat violence within its borders.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

ICE System Failed to Catch Illegal Immigrant in Va. Before Rape of 8-Year-Old Girl

Loudoun County Jail

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer

Salvador Portillo-Saravia, a member of the MS-13 street gang, was charged with raping an 8-year-old girl at her Fairfax County (Va.) home last month. But he never should have been in Fairfax in the first place.

Federal officials deported Portillo-Saravia, of Sterling, to El Salvador in 2003, and he sneaked back in illegally. Now, officials are wondering why a much-touted federal program didn’t catch him before the rape.

Four weeks before the crime, Portillo-Saravia was in the Loudoun County jail for public intoxication. That’s when the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program, called Secure Communities, should have identified him as an illegal immigrant and he should have been taken into custody.

Loudoun authorities ran Portillo-Saravia’s fingerprints through a federal database, but despite the 2003 deportation, nothing was found. He was released after 12 hours behind bars.

To read more click here.

ICE Did Questionable Things to Meet Deportation Goal

ice photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement manipulated the system and did highly questionable things to meet deportation goals, the Center for Investigative Reporting reported in the Washington Post.

The news organization reported that ICE included in its stats  more than 19,000 immigrants who exited the U.S. the previous year.

“When ICE officials realized in the final weeks of the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, that the agency still was in jeopardy of falling short of last year’s mark, it scrambled to reach the goal,” Andrew Becker of the Center for Investigative Reporting reported. “Officials quietly directed immigration officers to bypass backlogged immigration courts and time-consuming deportation hearings whenever possible, internal e-mails and interviews show.

“Instead, officials told immigration officers to encourage eligible foreign nationals to accept a quick pass to their countries without a negative mark on their immigration record, ICE employees said,” according to the news organization.

To read the full story click here.

Feds Find 600-Yard Drug Tunnel at Mexico-Calif. Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities on Wednesday discovered a 600-yard long tunnel with lighting and ventilation that went from Tijuana to California that was used to smuggle marijuana, the New York Times reported.

DEA and ICE officials said they found about 30 tons of marijuana in the Otay Mesa section of San Diego,the Times reported. Most of the marijuana was in the tunnel.

Authorities said the tunnel wasn’t large enough to stand up in, and that smugglers likely crawled through it, the Times reported, adding that warehouses on both sides were used to store drugs.

The Times reported that authorities have found more than 75 tunnels along the border in the last four years.

Feds Say Father-Son Thwarted Iran Embargo Through Deception

By Justin Blum
Bloomberg

WASHINGTON — In its search for American-built F-5 fighter jet parts, Iran turned to a father-son company operating out of a yellow stucco cottage on a country road on Ireland’s northwest coast.

Tom and Sean McGuinn are accused in a U.S. indictment of conspiracy, trade violations and making false statements to illegally export items with military uses beginning in 2005. Over the past decade, the McGuinns shipped more than $120 million in U.S.-made equipment to the Islamic Republic, Clark Settles, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, said in an interview.

They succeeded through simple deceptions and persistence, according to court and government documents and interviews with U.S. officials and people who did business with their company, Mac Aviation Ltd. They are still free in Ireland.

Their tale illustrates how Iran is leaning on a network of people often operating out of houses or storefronts to evade a U.S. embargo and obtain parts with military uses, American officials said.

To read more click here.

Secrecy Surrounds Probe into Illegal Immigrant Who Killed Va. Nun in Drunk Driving Crash

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Secrecy surrounds a probe involving an illegal immigrant who killed a Virginia nun in a drunk driving incident.

The Washington Post reports that the Department of Homeland Security won’t release findings of a probe into the matter and why the immigrant went nearly two years without a deportation hearing before he killed the nun in the accident.

The Post reports that Carlos Martinelly-Montano, 23, is accused of killing Sister Denise Mosier, 66, and injuring two other Benedictine nuns while driving drunk in Prince William County, in suburban Washington, on Aug. 1.

After the incident, the Post reported that  Janet Napolitano, head of Homeland Security, said at a press conference: “Why is it that this individual was driving? He was in the removal process. Why did the removal process take so long?”

The Post quoted an unnamed Homeland Security official saying the findings in the matter won’t be released because “it’s a document that includes law enforcement sensitivities, so it will not be made public.”

To read more click here.

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