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Tag: Laredo

Border Patrol Agent Arrested, Accused of Pointing Gun at Man During Fight

Border Patrol Agent Roman Rodriguez Jr.

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent accused of pointing a gun at a man during a fight outside a bar in Laredo, Texas, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

Roman Rodriguez Jr., 33,  faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, The Laredo Morning Times reports.

Laredo police responded to reports of shots fired near a nightclub on Feb. 26. Several people were fighting when police arrived. 

Police said Rodriguez pointed a gun at one of the men involved in the altercation. But it’s not yet clear whether he fired the gun. 

“After canvassing the empty field, officers were able to recover a semiautomatic handgun and seized it as evidence,” police said in a statement. “Officers confirmed that a shot was fired during the altercation.”

In a statement, CBP said Rodriguez was off duty during the altercation. 

“CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” Border Patrol said in a statement. 

Border Patrol Agents Rescued 200+ People Stranded During Historic Storm

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents have rescued more than 200 people since a historic storm brought snow and frigid temperatures to Texas. 

“Big Bend Sector Border Patrol Agents have risked their own lives in the on-going effort to patrol the sector despite the winter weather,” CBP said in a news release. “Agents have successfully rescued over 200 people in recent days from dangerous conditions in the area, saving life and limb.”

Many of the people had been abandoned by smugglers or were lost as temperatures plummeted. Some called 911 for help.

Early Wednesday, agents from the Laredo South Station helped seven people who were lost south of Laredo. An agent from the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station in New Mexico is credited with saving the life of a woman with hypothermia who was stranded in the desert during a snowstorm. 

“In addition to the physical and environmental risks faced by individuals hoping to cross illegally into the U.S., they are also vulnerable to life-threatening abuse and neglect by unscrupulous smuggling organizations,” Border Patrol said in a statement. “Criminal entities fill their pockets while exploiting a vulnerable population and have no regard for the safety of migrants. The criminal organizations often attempt to smuggle individuals inside trailers which with the recent low temperatures, the inside can become as cold as a freezer.”

CBP Officer Accused of Smuggling Live-in Caretaker into U.S. from Mexico

By Steve Neavling

A CBP officer is accused of smuggling her undocumented housekeeper into Texas from Mexico and has been charged with making false statements. 

Officer Rhonda Lee Walker, who is stationed at the Laredo Point of Entry, is scheduled to make a court appearance today. 

The investigation, which included nine months of surveillance, began in June 2020 with an anonymous tip to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), The Daily Beast first reported. The tipster said Walker was employing a live-in caretaker who was not authorized to live or work in the country. 

Surveillance video showed Walker escorting Mexican citizen Yadira Yesenia Trevino-SanMaguel across a pedestrian bridge between the U.S. and Mexico and then walking her through the inspection area, when she scanned in her caretaker’s nonimmigrant visa using a co-worker’s login, according to the OPR complaint. 

In an interrogation, Trevino-SanMaguel admitted she was working for Walker as a caretaker. 

Carl E. Landrum Appointed Deputy Chief Border Patrol Agent for the Laredo Sector

Carl Landrum, deputy chief Border Patrol agent for the Laredo Sector in Texas.

By Steve Neavling

Carl E. Landrum has been tapped to serve as deputy chief Border Patrol agent for the Laredo Sector in Texas. 

Since joining Border Patrol in 1996, Landum has served in numerous supervisory and command positions, including special agent with the Federal Air Marshal Service in New York City and assistant chief patrol agent at Border Patrol headquarters in Washington D.C.

In 2011, Landrum was promoted to patrol agent in charge of the Cotulla Border Patrol Station in Texas, and in 2012, he became patrol agent in charge of the Laredo North Border Patrol Station. 

In 2014, Landum was promoted to division chief at the Laredo Sector. He also created the Department of Homeland Security Joint Task Force West in San Antonio. 

In 2016, he became deputy chief patrol agent of the Yuma Sector. 

Before joining Border Patrol, Landrum received a bachelor’s degree of science in information systems from the University of Phoenix. He earned a master’s degree in strategic studies form the U.S. Army War College and became the first civilian to attend the school’s Advanced Strategic Art Program.

The Laredo Sector covers over more than 84,000 square miles in 96 counties from the U.S.-Mexico border to the borders of Texasand Oklahoma and Arkansas and has more than 1,900 employees. The Laredo Sector has nine stations: Laredo North, Laredo South, Laredo West, Zapata, Cotulla, Hebbronville, Freer, San Antonio, and Dallas. 

Border Patrol Agents Fatally Shoot Driver Accused of Pinning Agent Against a Car

Matthew Hudak, chief patrol agent for Border Patrol’s Laredo Sector. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents shot and killed the driver of a tractor trailer on Friday evening after they say he reversed into an agent and pinned him and a migrant against another vehicle in Laredo, Texas.

The CBP said the incident happened at about 9:40 p.m. local time when ICE and the Webb County Constable’s Office were investigating a tractor-trailer carrying people suspected of illegally crossing the border. 

During the investigation, another tractor-trailer approached authorities and “suddenly accelerated in reverse, striking and pinning” the agent and a migrant against another vehicle. 

After the driver failed to respond to verbal commands, agents shot him. 

The agent was injured and released from the hospital Saturday morning. 

The Laredo Police Department and FBI, along with CBP and ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility, are investigating. 

Matthew J. Hudak Named Chief Border Agent of Laredo Sector

Border Patrol Chief Matthew Hudak.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Matthew J. Hudak, who heads the Border Patrol in the Big Bend Sector, has been named chief Border patrol agent of the Laredo Sector.

Hudak, a 23-year veteran of the agency, will replace Chief Border Patrol Agent Felix Chavez, who plans to retire after serving 34 years with the agency, CBP announced Tuesday.

Hudak, who joined the Border Patrol in 1997, will oversee a 171-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border and 1,800 agents and support staff. Laredo previously served as acting deputy chief patrol agent at the Laredo Sector.

In March 2019, Hudak became head of the Big Bend Sector.

“I would like to thank our neighbors throughout the Big Bend region for their continued support of our agents and the work they do to keep our communities and country safe,” Hudak told KRQE.

“It has been an honor to serve alongside our agents and staff. Every day they have impressed me with their dedication and vigilance.”

Hudak will begin his new assignment on July 5.

Border Patrol Agents Hospitalized After Attack in Laredo, Texas

 

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents were attacked and hospitalized by migrants trying to enter the country illegally in Laredo, Texas, on New Year’s Eve.

The National Border Patrol Council said an undisclosed number of agents sustained injuries ranging from broken bones and lacerations, and eight people were detained, KENS5-TV reports.

It’s unclear whether the attacks were related to an hours-long gun battle a day earlier between cartel members and Tamaulipas State Police in Nuevo Laredo. The shootout prompted Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar to warn residents on Facebooks to avoid crossing the border in to Mexico.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Soliciting Prostitution from Undocumented Immigrant

Donato Cantu, 43.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been charged with soliciting an undocumented immigrant for prostitution in Laredo.

Donato Cantu, 43, was served with a warrant Friday and is accused of soliciting the sex worker while off duty.

CBP confirmed the arrest.

“He has been with the service for over 13 years,” Border Patrol said in a statement. “As a matter of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not comment on on-going investigations. Inquiries regarding the case are best directed to the Webb County District Attorney’s Office.”

The agency added, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection holds its employees accountable and expects the entire workforce to adhere to the agency’s standards of conduct.”

The FBI and CBP Office of Professional Responsibility had been investigating the case for several months and discovered that the undocumented immigrant used social media and other websites to find clients for sex work.