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Tag: Texas

FBI Arrests Texas Police Officer Accused of Distributing Child Pornography

By Steve Neavling

The FBI arrested a police officer in Texas on charges of distributing child pornography. 

Denton Police Officer David Schoolcraft was ordered to remain in custody during his initial court hearing Thursday.

According to U.S. attorneys, Schoolcraft knowingly received or distributed child pornography through any means of interstate or foreign commerce, mail or shipment, or through a computerin late December. 

He faces up to 20 years in prison. 

Schoolcraft, a 15-year veteran of the department, was placed on leave after he was arrested. 

Border Patrol Agent Injured After Government SUV Rolled Over in West El Paso

Photo via Border Patrol

A Border Patrol agent was injured after his government SUV rolled over in a single-vehicle accident in West El Paso on Thursday morning. 

The accident occurred about 7:50 a.m. 

The agent, who is assigned to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station, was treated by medics at the scene, near the intersection of Paisano and Doniphan, The El Paso Times reports.

The unidentified agent escaped serious injuries and was in good condition. 

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the accident. 

No more details were available. 

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.”

Bill Would Rename Border Patrol Station in Texas in Honor of Fallen Agent

Fallen Border Patrol Agent Donna Doss.

By Steve Neavling

A Texas congressman reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would rename the Border Patrol station in Rocksprings, Texas, in honor of fallen Agent Donna Doss. 

Rep. Jodey Arrington’s bill, called the Donna M. Doss Memorial Act, would rename the station the Donna M. Doss Border Patrol Station. 

“Today, I am reintroducing the Donna Doss Memorial Act, which would designate the Rocksprings Border Patrol Station the ‘Donna M. Doss Border Patrol Station,” Arrington said in a statement Friday. “Donna Doss served our country as a Border Patrol Agent for 16 years and was killed in the line of duty in 2019. Few people in their lifetime will earn the title of hero – Donna Doss unequivocally did, and she deserves to be honored as such. I am enormously grateful for the border patrol and law enforcement across the country who risk their lives everyday working on the front lines. Anne and I continue to pray for her family and the entire Abilene law enforcement community.”

Doss, a 15-year-veteran of Border Patrol, was responding to a call for assistance when she was stuck and killed by a vehicle in Abilene on Feb. 2, 2019.

“It is critical that we honor Border Patrol agent Donna Doss, and her ultimate sacrifice as she bravely and proudly dedicated her life to public service,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, of Texas, said. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that her commitment to our peace and security will be remembered and will inspire others to serve and protect. I am committed to honoring our brave law enforcement who protect our communities every day and those who sacrificed their own lives in order to ensure the safety of others.”

The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) and Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) support the legislation. 

“On behalf of rank-and-file Border Patrol Agents in Texas and across the country, I am honored to express our staunch support for the Donna M. Doss Memorial Act of 2021,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said. “For over 15 years, Agent Doss put her life on the line each and every day, serving our country and protecting our borders. This legislation will honor her memory, service and courage, as well as the ultimate sacrifice she made. I want to express our gratitude to Congressman Arrington and Congressman Cuellar for their steadfast commitment to ensure that Agent Doss’ service and sacrifice will not be forgotten, and I urge Congress to swiftly pass this bill.” 

Texas Man Sentenced to 90 Months in Prison for Pointing Shotgun at DEA Agents

By Steve Neavling

A Texas man has been sentenced to 90 months in federal prison after he pointed a shotgun at DEA agents who were trying to serve a search warrant at his home in Bandera County in 2016. 

Agents shot Luther Otis Foster IV after he leveled the shotgun at them and threatened to shoot. He has since recovered. 

During the raid, agents found a large number of marijuana plants. 

“Pointing a weapon at or threatening a federal agent is never a wise choice,” U.S. Attorney Sofer said in a statement. “It is fortunate that no one lost their life in this incident.  Unfortunately, today in Florida, a similar scenario ended in heartbreaking tragedy.  We should never forget the dangers our law enforcement officers face every day.”

Foster pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and four counts of assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon in November 2018. 

The sentencing comes on the same week that five FBI agents were shot while serving a search warrant at a home in Florida. Two of the agents have died. On Thursday, a U.S. Marshals deputy was critically wounded during a gunfight in Baltimore while they were trying to execute a search warrant.

FBI Investigating Texas AG Ken Paxton Over Allegations of Bribery, Other Crimes

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on allegations that he used his office to help a wealthy donor.

Former members of Paxton’s staff say he used his office to commit bribery and other crimes to benefit Austin real estate developer Nate Paul in several ways, The Associated Press first reported.

Paxton has been dogged with allegations of wrongdoing since his top deputies, who have since resigned or been fired, tipped off federal authorities about actions they allege are illegal. Four aides have been fired, prompting a whistleblower lawsuit against Paxton, a second-term Republican who has denied wrongdoing.

“After reviewing the claims made by former employees of this office, their allegations are overblown, based upon assumptions, and to a large degree misrepresent the facts,” Paxton said in a statement. “Unfortunately these attorneys chose to air their grievances through the media and through the courts, rather than established and objective internal processes.”

Among the allegations are that Paxton ordered his office to hire an outside lawyer to pursue Paul’s claims about an improper search of his home and office last year. 

Mexican Drug Cartel Leader Added to FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List

Jose Rodolfo Villarreal Hernández

By Steve Neavling

A Mexican drug cartel leader accused of ordering the 2013 murder of a lawyer in Southlake, Texas, has been added to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list. 

The FBI added Jose Rodolfo Villarreal Hernández, 42, also known as “El Gato,” to the list Tuesday. 

Villarreal-Hernandez, who the FBI believes may be hiding in Mexico, has been charged in an indictment with conspiracy to commit murder for hire and interstate stalking in the death of a 43-year-old man, who was shot several times in his Range Rover while his wife was loading groceries into their vehicle. 

The bureau is offering up to a $1 million reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.  

“Jose Rodolfo Villarreal-Hernandez is charged with orchestrating a brutal murder that took place in broad daylight at a busy shopping center. The shooter and his accomplices showed no regard for the victim, his wife, or the innocent bystanders who witnessed the murder,” Matthew J. DeSarno, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, said in a statement. “The FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program allows us to bring this case to the eyes and ears of citizens around the world. We will not rest until Villarreal-Hernandez is apprehended and made to answer for these charges in court.”

Villarreal-Hernandez has black hair and brown eyes, 5-foot-4 and weighs about  165 pounds. 

Villarreal-Hernandez is the 524 person to be added to the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list. 

“The FBI will continue to use its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program to locate and arrest violent criminals like Jose Rodolfo Villarreal-Hernandez,” Calvin A. Shivers, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, said. “We will bring to justice those individuals who commit violent acts and threaten the safety of our citizens and our community. However, in order for us to be effective, we need the public’s assistance. We encourage you to reach out to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI if you witness a crime or have information that is beneficial to an ongoing investigation.”

Retired Border Patrol Agent Suspected of Killing Wife, Then Himself

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A retired 57-year-old Border Patrol agent is accused of fatally shooting his wife in Texas and then taking his own life.

Authorities say Mark Martinez, a 28-year Border Patrol veteran who retired in 2015, killed his wife inside the couple’s home in West El Paso on Wednesday, BorderReport.com reports.

The next morning, investigators discovered Martinez dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a vehicle in La Union, N.M.

Police said the body of Martinez’s wife, Norma Martinez, was found by a family member.

The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office and officers with U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force found Martinez’s body.

The El Paso Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons unit is investigating the suspected murder-suicide.