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September 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: U.S. Border Patrol

Judge Dismisses DUI Charges Because Border Patrol Unlawfully Held Suspect

Steve Neavling 

A Vermont woman who was charged with drunken driving will walk away after a judge ruled the U.S. Border Patrol held her illegally, the Associated Press reports.

Judge Howard Van Benthuysen said Border Patrol agents did not have the right to take Meaghan Leary’s keys from her, which effectively forced her to wait 53 minutes for a state trooper to arrive, the AP wrote.

The judge said agents never gave Leary a lawful reason for holding her.

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

Steve Neavling

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.

Beefed-up Border Patrol Making Progress in Securing U.S. Border

Steve Neavling

Arrests of migrants are at their lowest level since the 1970s because of increased security, the LA Times reports.

Since 1986, the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents rose 3,222 to 18,500 today, the LA Times reported.

The result: Less crime and more economic development for border towns.

“We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement,” said President Obama during a trip to the border at El Paso in 2011. “All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done.”

Some question the meaning behind the reduction in border crimes, saying fewer people are coming to the U.S. for jobs because of the economy.

Pro-Immigration Groups Worry Border Patrol Agents Are Motivated by Incentives

Steve Neavling 

Immigrant advocacy groups are worried that an incentive program for U.S. Border Patrol agents is encouraging abuse of authority and false arrests, Buffalo News reports.

The program awards agents with cash, extra vacation time and gift cards.

The Buffalo News reported that a crackdown on illegal immigration has netted 277 arrests of people who were in the U.S. legally.

Pro-immigration groups are urging lawmakers to get involved.

But Border Patrol denies handing out incentives for arrests.

“No such practice of paid incentives and awards for specific human targets or enforcement actions has ever occurred within the Border Patrol, nor will it ever occur within the ranks of any [Customs and Border Protection] component,” the agency said in a statement to Buffalo News.

Editorial: Border Patrol Spoils Its Good Name with Secrecy, Long Delays in Internal Probes

Arizona Daily Star

For a law-enforcement agency to be trusted, the public must be able to see how it functions when something goes wrong.

The U.S. Border Patrol doesn’t seem to understand that.

As the Arizona Daily Star’s Tim Steller reported on Sunday, when Border Patrol agents shoot people on the other side of the U.S.-Mexico border, the investigations are slow and secretive. There have been at least six such incidents since January 2010, including the death this fall of a 16-year-old who was on a Nogales, Sonora, sidewalk. A fence and a 36-foot-wide street separated him from the border. Local police reports say two people were on the fence when agents arrived and rocks were thrown at the officers.

When a Tucson police officer or Pima County sheriff’s deputy shoots someone, the agency discloses the incident and the name of the law-enforcer. The investigations are usually quick.

Contrast that with the Border Patrol.

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Investigation: Friendly Fire That Killed a U.S. Border Patrol Agent Was Not Sparked by Communication Breakdown

Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

Steve Neavling

A preliminary investigation into the friendly fire death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona found that agents didn’t lose radio contact before shots were fired, the Associated Press reports.

The sheriff’s report eased fears that a communication breakdown led to the fatal shooting, as many had speculated.

According to the AP, Agent Nicholas Ivie, 30, was responding to an underground sensor designed to detect illegal activity when two other agents to the south of him opened fire.

It was revealed that one of the agents who opened fire said she saw Ivie but drew her weapon when gunfire erupted.

The shooting remains under investigation.

Mexican Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

Brian Terry

Steve Neavling

 A Mexican man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Arizona in the killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry near the Arizona-Mexican border in 2010, the Associated Press reports.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes said he and others snuck into the U.S. a week before the shootout to rob marijuana smugglers, stashing guns and food supplies north of the border.

It’s unclear which of the five suspects – three of whom remain at large – fired the fatal shot on Dec. 14, the AP reported.

Terry’s death broke open details of the botched gun-smuggling operation, “Fast and Furious,” because two weapons bought during the operation were found at the scene.

Osorio-Arellanes is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 11.

Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.

Federal Gov’t Fails to Fix Dead Spots in Radio Communications

istock photo

Steve Neavling 

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been complaining for years about losing radio contact with each other because of so-called “dead spots.”

Despite those complaints, agents continue to lose radio communication, especially in remote mountainous areas similar to the one where friendly fire killed Agent Ivie this month, the Arizona Republic reports.

A source told the Republic that Ivie and two other agents who were responding from separate directions to an activated ground sensor when they lost radio contact in southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.

It’s unclear whether dead spots contributed to the friendly fire.

“You get dead spots and you just don’t have any way to communicate with anybody,” Art Del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol union representing agents in the Tucson Sector, told the Republic.