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Tag: Laredo

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.

Border Patrol’s Laredo Sector Has New Interim Chief with a Leadership Background

Felix Chavez

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol’s busy Laredo Sector has a new interim chief after two of its agents have been charged with murder this year.

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost appointed Felix Chavez, a 32-year veteran of the agency, to the position, which puts him in charge of more than 85,000 square miles, from Arkansas to Texas.

Chavez, who replaces Jason D. Owens, most recently served as chief patrol agent of the Del Rio Sector

A graduate of Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, Chavez became an agent in 1985, and his first assignment was at the Sierra Blanca Station. A decade later, Chavez rose to supervisory Border Patrol agent at the Tucson Station.

In 1997, he became the field operations supervisor at the Tucson station before promoted to patrol agent in charge of the Alamogordo station in the El Paso sector in July 2002. In 2007, Chavez was selected as the patrol agent of the Tucson Sector.

In May 2011, Chavez was promoted to the senior executive service position of deputy chief of the former operations division at Border Patrol’s headquarters in Washington D.C. In August 2013, he was appointed as the deputy chief patrol agent at the Tucson Sector.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Being Serial Killer Likely Used His Service Weapon in Murders

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of being a serial killer likely used his government-issued weapon to murder four women in September.

The .40-caliber casings found at the scene of each murder “were consistent with the agency issued .40-caliber HK p2000 semiautomatic pistol” that police found in Juan David Ortiz’s truck when he was captured on Sept. 15, the USA Today reports, citing the district attorney involved in the case.  

The Texas Department of Public Safety’s crime lab in Laredo is examining the handgun and casings to determine whether the match is precise.

Ortiz, 35, was arrested after a woman escaped his truck after suspecting that he had killed her friend.

Police said Ortiz drove four women between the ages of 28 and 42 to the side of rural roads and shot them in the head.

Questions Raised about Border Patrol After Agent Described As Serial Killer

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The arrest of a Border Patrol agent accused of killing four women this month has raised an obvious question: Did the federal law enforcement agency miss red flags about a man described as a serial killer?

Eighteen members of the House of Representatives are questioning Customs and Border Protection about its hiring practices and whether it missed warning signs about Juan David Ortiz.

“Like you, our priority is to provide for the well-being and safety of the populations we serve,” the members wrote in a letter sent to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “To do so, we must learn from any mistakes made in this case.” 

Ortiz was arrested after a sex worker’s daring escape at gunpoint in Laredo, Tex., and authorities said he has confessed to killing four women by shooting them in the head and leaving their bodies on rural Texas roadsides. 

According to the Associated Press, the former Navy veteran appeared to be living a “typical suburban life” in Laredo, raising two children with his wife. 

‘‘We’re seeking truth, and we’re seeking justice for these victims,’’ Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz told the AP. ‘‘Hopefully, even though motive is not an element to the crime of murder, we will be able to try to piece together what was going on in the mind of this accused killer as to why he did it.’’

In the meantime, investigators are trying to determine whether this month’s four murders were the only ones committed by Ortiz, who joined the Border Patrol in August 2009.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Being a Serial Killer After Woman’s Daring Escape

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A supervisory Border Patrol agent accused of being a serial killer was tracked down after a sex worker’s daring escape at gunpoint in Laredo, Tex.

Juan David Ortiz, a 10-year veteran of the agency who worked in intelligence, confessed to four September murders, including two in a five-hour span early Saturday morning, the Washington Post reports.

“We consider this man to be a serial killer who was preying on one victim after another,” Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said. 

A sex worker who suspected Ortiz had killed her friend was in a white pickup truck with the alleged killer when he pulled out a gun and grabbed her shirt. She managed to escape, and he fled.

The woman flagged down a state trooper, and after a pursuit, police found the 35-year-old hiding in a hotel parking lots at 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Ortiz faces life in prison on four counts of murder, aggravated assault and unlawful restrain.

All of the victims are believed to be sex workers, some of whom may not have been chosen at random.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Sexual Assault, Tampering with Evidence

Border Patrol Agent David Villarreal

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent in Laredo has been charged with sex assault, tampering with evidence and official oppression.

Agent David Villarreal turned himself into Laredo police last week after being served with arrest warrants, Laredo Morning Times reports

A woman in her 30s reported to police on March 26 that Villarreal sexually assaulted her.

Police declined to release more details.

Sara Melendez, Laredo Sector Border Patrol spokeswoman, said the agency is taking the allegations seriously.

“While it is CBP policy not to comment on an ongoing investigation, such actions will not be tolerated. CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission. CBP personnel perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” she said in a statement.