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Tag: Texas

Witnesses Offer Differing Account of Border Patrol Chase That Ended with 10 Dead in El Paso

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Some witnesses are contradicting Border Patrol’s claims that its agents stopped chasing a speeding vehicle that crashed and killed seven occupants in downtown El Paso on June 25.

Border Patrol officials said agents called off the pursuit because of the dangerous speed.

But witnesses told The Dallas Morning News that agents were still chasing the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze when it crashed into a parked trailer at 2:15 a.m. Two security guards said they saw the Border Patrol vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed with its headlights on and no sirens.

El Paso police are investigating.

“Was there a chase before the crash? Yes. Did it cause the crash? I don’t know,” Police spokesman Robert Gomez said.

At the time of the crash, 10 people were inside the car. Three were injured and remain in the hospital.

Authorities said the car was involved in human smuggling.

“All preliminary information collected thus far indicates that it was indeed a human smuggling event,” Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector Gloria Chavez said in a statement.

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.

Car Crash That Killed 7 People in El Paso Was Involved in Human Smuggling

Border marker at San Ysidro Port of Entry, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The car crash that killed seven people in downtown El Paso on Thursday was involved in human smuggling.

The car was fleeing Border Patrol agents when it crashed into a trailer at 2:15 a.m.

Among those killed were at least three undocumented immigrants who were being smuggled into the U.S. and four El Paso residents, including the 18-year-old driver The Daily Mail reports.

A Mexican man and two unidentified people also were killed.

Among the injured were Mexico native Omar Garcia Hernandez, 18, Guatemalan national Wilbur Gomez, 25, and an unnamed 16-year-old from Mexico.

“All preliminary information collected thus far indicates that it was indeed a human smuggling event,” Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector Gloria Chavez said in a statement.

A sensor alerted agents to the four-door sedan in Sunland Park, New Mexico, an area near the border that is know for human smuggling.

The driver fled by accelerating at a high rate of speed. Agents called off the chase because of the dangerous speed.

Soon after, the agents spotted the car, which had crashed into a trailer on private property.

“I cannot stress enough how Transnational Criminal Organizations continue to exploit human beings and manipulate the youth in our communities by recruiting them to be their mules and their smugglers,” Chavez said.

“Human smuggling is as lucrative as drug smuggling, if not more, and our youth are being targeted.”

Border Patrol Chase Led to Crash That Killed 7 People in Downtown El Paso

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A car fleeing the Border Patrol crashed in downtown El Paso on Thursday morning, killing seven people and injuring three others.

The chase began after Border Patrol agents tried to stop a gray Chevrolet Cruze packed with 10 people shortly after 2 a.m. on West Paisano Drive near Union Depot, The El Paso Times reports.

The driver lost control of the car on a curve in the road, crossing a small gravel median, and crashing through a chain-link fence before striking a parked trailer. The car was torn in two.

The El Paso County medical examiner is trying to identify the dead.

“U.S. Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Santa Teresa and El Paso Stations attempted to stop a vehicle,” Border Patrol said in a news release. “The vehicle fled and was subsequently involved in a motor vehicle accident with multiple fatalities.”

The statement added, “At this time, the U.S. Border Patrol is cooperating with the active investigation, which is being led by the El Paso Police Department. The incident is also under review by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility.”

FBI Arrests El Paso Man Accused of Threatening to Kill Black Lives Matters Protesters

Black Lives Matter protesters in Detroit.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 42-year-old El Paso man who posted a racist video in which he threatened to kill Black Lives Matter protesters, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Manuel Flores faces up to five years in prison on a federal charge of making a threat over the internet.

The FBI arrested Flores on Monday in the Dallas area after authorities say he admitted recording and uploading a video to YouTube entitled “N***** Lives Matter” in which he said “my dream is (to) at least … take out at 200 N*****.”

In the video, which shows what appears to be an AR-15 resting on his feet, Flores said he planned to travel to Dallas and dare protesters to “stop him.”

Flores was arrested in the Dallas area.

As of Wednesday, Flores was in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service awaiting to be transferred to El Paso for a preliminary hearing that has not yet been scheduled.

William S. Sessions, FBI Director from 1987-1993, Died At Age of 90

Former FBI Director William S. Sessions.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

William S. Sessions, who served as the director of the FBI under three presidents, died Friday in San Antonio.

He was 90.

Sessions’ tenure from 1987 to 1993 was a rocky one, The New York Times reports.

A Republican with bipartisan support, Sessions was first nominated by President Reagan and confirmed with unanimous Senate support. Sessions was hailed for supporting racial and gender equality in an agency that had long been dominated white men.

Sessions also was heavily criticized for the FBI’s role in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, and he eventually admitted that agents had overstepped by spying on Americans rallying against government policies in Central America.

His 10-year term was cut short when he became the first FBI Director to be fired for ethical abuses, allegations he later denied.

The FBI on Monday issued a statement:

Our hearts are heavy upon hearing that former FBI Director William S. Sessions passed away on June 12 in San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 90. Following his appointment to the federal district court, Judge Sessions served as Director of the FBI from 1987 to 1993, pioneering innovative ideas throughout his tenure.

He brought the FBI into the 21st century through the introduction of emerging science and technology and fostering a sense of diversity and inclusion so we were better equipped to carry out our mission of upholding the Constitution and protecting the American public. We will always hold the utmost respect and gratitude toward Judge Sessions for his inimitable contributions to our great institution.

Annual Memorial Service for Border Patrol Agents Will Be Live-Streamed for All to See

Annual Border Patrol memorial service.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An annual memorial service to pay tribute to Border Patrol agents who have died in the line of duty will go on despite the coronavirus pandemic.

But instead of attending the Valor Memorial and Wreath Laying Ceremony at the National U.S. Border Patrol Museum in El Paso, which is closed, you’ll have to watch the ceremony on YouTube, which is live-streaming the service beginning at 8 a.m. MST, according to Border Report.

In the past, the ceremony included agents, families of fallen agents and multiple guests.

This year’s ceremony will be hosted by El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez, and El Paso Sector Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem will be the master of ceremonies. Border Patrol Museum Director David Ham is the keynote speaker.

“The U.S. Border Patrol extends an invitation to members of the community to join us virtually in this important remembrance of the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting America’s borders,” Border Patrol said in a statement.

FBI: Shooting at U.S. Navy Air Base in Texas Was ‘Terrorism-Related’

Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi, via U.S. Navy.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI in Houston is leading an investigation into a “terrorism-related” shooting at a U.S. Navy air base in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Thursday morning.

One sailor was injured in the 6:15 a.m. shooting at the Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi, and authorities said the gunman was dead by 7:30 a.m. The victim had minor injuries and was released from the hospital.

Authorities said a second suspect may still be at large, but did not elaborate.

“We have determined that the incident this morning at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi is terrorism-related,” FBI Senior Supervisory Special Agent Leah Greeves told reporters during a news conference, according to the Associated Press. “We are working diligently with our state, local and federal partners on this investigation, which is fluid and evolving.”

Details, including the motive and why the FBI believes the shooting was related to terrorism, were not shared with the media. Authorities also didn’t elaborate on the potential second suspect.