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Tag: Texas

Funeral Held for Border Patrol Agent Whose Grisly Death Remains a Mystery

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent was laid to rest Saturday following his mysterious death at the bottom of a culvert in the Texas desert. 

Family, friends and law enforcement officers attended the funeral at a Catholic church in El Paso, Texas, to mourn the death of Rogelio Martinez, 36, the Washington Post reports

Martinez’s U.S. flag-draped coffin was carried by Border Patrol pallbearers in green uniforms while bagpipes played.

“It honors him to see law enforcement agencies from across the United States” attend the service, Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero told reporters outside the church.

Martinez, who was responding to a triggered sensor on Sunday night in west Texas, was found with “traumatic head injuries” and broken bones. He died early Sunday from head injuries.

His partner, who has not been identified, also was found with head injuries and had been in critical condition last week.

The union representing Border Patrol officers insist the agents were attacked with rocks, but the FBI is not so sure.

FBI Investigating Mysterious Death of Border Patrol Agent in Texas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Was a Border Patrol agent killed or did he fall? What about his partner, who is in critical condition at a hospital?

The FBI is investigating what happened to the agents on a treacherous stretch of west Texas late Saturday night.

“There are a number of possible scenarios, but right now we are going to pursue it as an assault on a federal agent,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. said during a Tuesday briefing in El Paso, the Los Angeles Times reports. “This is the most important investigation in the El Paso division of the FBI. We will be aggressively investigating all leads.” 

Here’s what the FBI knows: Angelo Rogelio “Roger” Martinez, who was responding to a triggered sensor, was found with “traumatic head injuries” and broken bones. He died early Sunday from head injuries.

His partner, who has not been identified, also was found with head injuries. As of Tuesday evening, he was in critical but stable condition.

The union representing Border Patrol officers insist they were attacked with rocks.

“There’s no way he fell,” Chris Cabrera, a union spokesman and veteran agent based in McAllen, Texas, said of the agent who died. “Border Patrol agents are like mountain goats. They don’t fall. Especially two at the same spot.”

The FBI isn’t so sure. The agents were found at the bottom of a 9-foot-deep culvert in a treacherous area.

The death is still be investigated as a homicide.

Apple Served Search Warrant for iPhone of Church Shooter, But Case Unlikely to Go Federal

Church shooter Devin Kelley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Texas law enforcement has served Apple with a search warrant for data stored on the blood-splattered iPhone used by the gunman in the Texas church shooting that killed 26 people earlier this month.

But the Washington Post reports it’s unlikely the FBI will take the case to federal court, like it did over the locked phone of a terrorist in San Bernardino, because authorities believe Devin Patrick Kelly acted alone and was not tied to terrorists. 

Nevertheless, Texas Rangers served a search warrant to obtain digital photos, messages, documents and other types of data from Kelly’s phone, a second mobile device found near his body and the gunman’s iCloud account, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

It’s unclear whether Apple will comply with the warrant or fight it like the company had in the San Bernardino case.

At the point, the feds are unlikely to make it a federal case.

“We do have a role in supporting the locals, but it’s not in FBI’s wheelhouse to run this case,‘‘ said one law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing. “It’s more of a local investigation at this point.”

Border Patrol Agent Killed in Likely ‘Ambush,’ Beaten to Death by Rocks

File photo of a Border Patrol vehicle, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who was killed in southwest Texas was likely “ambushed” and beaten to death by rocks, according to the president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Another agent was seriously injured and remains in the hospital following the attack on Sunday.

Rogelio Martinez, 36, and his partner were patrolling the Big Bend Sector when they came under attack by a group of illegal immigrant, Brandon Judd, president of the labor union, said.

“I have been told by several agents that it was a grisly scene, and that his injuries were very extensive,” Judd said Monday in a phone interview with The Washington Post. “We believe he was struck in the head with rocks, or multiple rocks.” 

Both agents received blunt force trauma to the head.

“There were no indications the agents fired their weapons,” Judd told Fox News. 

The FBI is now investigating the assault.

Details remain murky because Customs and Border Protection has yet to disclose what happened.

The agents were patrolling near Interstate 10, in the Van Horn Station area, when they were alerted to illegal immigrant traffic.

Border Patrol Agent Killed, Prompting Trump to Renew Calls for Wall

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has taken over an investigation into the death of a Border Patrol agent in Texas Big Bend area, where his partner also was seriously injured Sunday. 

A Border Patrol spokesman declined to divulge what caused the injuries but said the FBI and other authorities are looking for potential suspects and witnesses.

Agent Rogelio Martinez, 36, and his Big Bend partner “were responding to activity while on patrol near Interstate 10, in the Van Horn Station area,” Customs and Border Patrol announced Sunday

Martinez’s partner called for assistance, saying both of them were injured.

Agents who responded provided immediate medical care and transported both agents to a local hospital.

Martinez, who had been a Border Patrol agent since August 2013, was later pronounced dead, and his partner, whose name has not been released, was still in the hospital Sunday in serious condition.

President Trump responded in a tweet Sunday night, renewing his call for a border wall with Mexico.

FBI’s Gun Background Checks Are Missing Millions of Problematic Cases

background checkBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Millions of people who should be barred from legally buying guns may still be eligible to purchase a firearm because government agencies are failing to alert the FBI’s background-check system of citizens with criminal convictions and mental illnesses.

The Air Force, for example, acknowledged it erred by failing to notify the FBI of the Texas church shooter who killed 26 people earlier this month. The gunman had been court-martialed on charges of beating his wife and child. He also escaped a mental health institution after threatening to kill superiors.

The Air Force’s failure to flag the former airman is part of a larger systemic breakdown in which government agencies are failing to forward criminal records and mental health diagnoses to the FBI gun background checks, the Washington Post reports

The FBI is uncertain how widespread the problem is, but the NRA estimates about 7 million records are missing from the system, according to a 2013 report by the nonprofit National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. The reported found that “at least 25% of felony convictions … are not available” to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

FBI Missed Critical 48-Hour Window to Open Church Shooter’s iPhone

IPhone 6By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI failed to ask Apple to help unlock the iPhone of the Texas church shooter in the two days following the massacre that left 26 people dead.

Apple, which has refused to offer help unlocking encrypted phones in the past, said it offered to assist the FBI but agents never reached out, Business Insider reports

“Our team immediately reached out to the FBI after learning from their press conference Tuesday that investigators were trying to access a mobile phone,” Apple said in a statement. “We offered assistance and said we would expedite our response to any legal process they send us.”

The phone, instead, was sent to a lab for analysis.

As a result, the FBI lost 48 hours without locking the device by using the finger prints of the shooter, Devin Kelley, if the phone was fingerprint-access enabled.

That’s significant because iPhones locked with a fingerprint for 48 hours or more require the user’s passcode.

The FBI declined to comment.

Air Force Admits Missing Chances to Prevent Church Shooter from Buying Guns

airforceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Air Force took responsibility for not alerting the FBI to the Texas church shooter’s domestic violence-related convictions, a failure that allowed former Airman Devin Kelley to purchase guns.

Had the Air Force reported the incidents to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, or NCIC, he would have been barred from buying a firearm.

“The offenses for which the shooter in Texas was court-martialed should have been reported, and that’s why we launched a full-scale review of this case, and all others like it,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson told reporters on Thursday, ABC News reports.

The failure has prompted several investigations. In addition to the Air Force’s internal probe, the Department of Defense Inspector General is investigating all military branches to see if there is a pattern of failing to report violent crimes to NCIC.

“We are looking at all of our databases, and if we have problems that we find, we’ll fix them,” Wilson said. “Our approach here is to act in accordance with our values, which include integrity and excellence, and that’s the way we’re proceeding.”

In 2012, Kelley was court-martialed while serving in the Air Force for assaulting his wife and child. He served a year in confinement and received a bad conduct discharge.

That information was never passed on.