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Tag: Tuscon

John R. Modlin Named Interim Chief Border Patrol Agent for Tucson Sector

John R. Modlin, interim chief Border Patrol agent for the Tucson Sector in Arizona. Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling

John R. Modlin has been named interim chief Border Patrol agent for the Tucson Sector in Arizona. 

Modlin, who made the announcement on Twitter, will replace Roy Villarreal, who held the position since March 2019. 

“While every part of this country has its unique challenges, my mission as a Border Patrol agent has always been the same: secure our borders and ensure the safety of our communities,” Modlin, a 25-year Border Patrol veteran, wrote in the tweet. 

He added, “I look forward to working with Tucson Sector’s many government, tribal and community partners as I continue with that mission in southern Arizona.”

The Tucson Sector covers Cochise, Pima and Santa Cruz counties. 

It wasn’t clear why Villareal was leaving, but he has a new assignment in Washington D.C. and will retain his title as chief patrol agent, a CBP spokesman told The Arizona Republic.

“He has been temporary detailed up to Border Patrol headquarters to help with strategic planning,” spokesman John Mennell said.

Modlin’s Border Patrol career includes stints at the Detroit Sector and the agency’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

Arizona Terror Suspect Said He’s Willing to Kill Parents for the Cause

Mahin Khan is a terrorism suspect.

Mahin Khan is a terrorism suspect.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Tucson man accused of planning terrorist attacks across Arizona allegedly told an FBI agent that he was willing to kill his parents if necessary, Tucson News Now reports. 

Mahin Khan, 18, has been charged with plotting terrorist attacks and remains in jail without bond.

FBI Agent Benjamin Trentlage, who is leading the case, said during Khan’s bond hearing that the man had recorded phone conversations with an undercover FBI employee who pretended to be an ISIS supporter.

“On one occasion the undercover employee expressed concern that Mr. Khan’s parents might find the undercover employees phone number and report it to the FBI. And in response Mr. Khan said that if they did that he would kill them himself,” said Trentlage. 

In 2015, he was in regular contact with a known ISIS operative in Syria, the FBI said.

“He requested information about building explosives and said that he wanted to join ISIS and he would do whatever was needed,” said Trentlage.

Man Who Killed 6, Seriously Injured Rep. Giffords Planned More Serious Follow-Up Attack

Jared Loughner/pima county sheriff photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The man who killed six people and severely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords planned a second attack that could have been more deadly, according to newly released FBI records obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

FBI agents searching the Tucson, Ariz., residence of Jared Lee Loughner found a small safe containing bomb-making components. Agents found batteries, a circuit board, wires and a numeric keyboard system.

Loughner was not captured on the morning of the 2011 attack.

The new records suggest Loughner had an even more violent attack planned, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Feds: Suspect Killed in Border Patrol Chase Was Unarmed But Gestured That He Had Gun

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A suspect shot in the head and killed by a Border Patrol agent was not armed, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

The agent fired nine times, he said, after the suspect, Jose Luis Armbula, 31, turned towards him and gestured that he had a gun.

Border Patrol has been criticized for its deadly shootings, especially following a report late last week that accused agents of using excessive force dozens of times.

The Tucson sector already had two fatal shootings this year.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Robots to Help Border Patrol Capture Illegal Activity in Tunnel Systems Between Mexico, U.S.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Tunnel systems that run between the U.S. and Mexico border are used to transport drugs, people, weapons and other illegal material.

Now, Border Patrol agents are using robot technology to detect tunnels, the Associated Press reports.

Agents in Tucson, Ariz., plan to demonstrate the “tunnel robots” Tuesday.

According to CBP, tunnels are becoming increasingly popular for criminal organizations.

More than 75 tunnels have been found between the border since 2008, the AP wrote.

Sharp Rise in Border Patrol Apprehensions along New Mexico Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol is experiencing a sharp increase in apprehensions at the New Mexico border, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

The Border Patrol took into custody nearly 8,000 people for illegally crossing the border in fiscal 2013 – compared to about 5,700 in fiscal 2012.

Although the New Mexico numbers were on the rise, Texas and Tucson saw declines, Albuquerque Journal wrote.

It may be the success in places like Tucson that are prompting immigrants to try the New Mexico border, said Joe Romero, acting special operations supervisor in the Border Patrol El Paso sector’s public affairs office..

“The success of neighboring sectors, such as Tucson Sector, may lead people away from that area in hopes of possibly finding a greater chance for success in our area,” Romero said in an emailed response to questions from the Albuquerque Journal.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Tucson Sector of Border Patrol Gets New Leader from Washington D.C.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Felix Chavez, who served as deputy division chief of operations for Border Patrol at Washington  headquarters, is returning to the Tucson Sector to take the job as deputy chief patrol agent, Tucson News reports.

As an added bonus, Chavez is intimately familiar with the development and implementation of the 2012-16 National Border Patrol Strategic Plan. He’s also familiar with the challenges along the Southwest border, Tucson News wrote.

Chavez began his Border Patrol career in July 1985 at what is now the Sierra Blanca Station – or the El Paso Sector, as it was previously called.

Border Patrol Agents Save More than 175 People in Scorching Arizona Desert

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

More than 175 people trying to find freedom in America were rescued while trying to traverse the scorching Arizona border over the past month, the Associated Press reports.

Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector made the rescues.

The AP wrote that more than 250 agents also are trained as EMTs and first-responders.

Border Patrol has 22 rescue beacons in the area, the AP reported.