Entries in Border Patrol Agent (7)


Border Patrol Agent Killing: Friendly Fire?

Scott Olson/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Authorities are looking closely at the possibility that a friendly fire accidental shooting is at the heart of the recent incident in Arizona that killed Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie and wounded a second agent, sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News.

A third agent was unharmed in the incident.

The FBI Phoenix field division would only say in a statement that, “Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of this investigation, the FBI is unable to provide any further details at this time.”

The scenario that is being examined is whether the fatal shooting happened in the “fog of war” following some type of encounter.

Additional forensics are being done on ballistics and additional interviews are being conducted to determine if the matter can be resolved in the coming days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Slain Border Agent Identified, Drug Traffickers Suspected

Slain border patrol agent Nicholas Ivie. Dept of Homeland Security(NACO, Ariz.) -- Two U.S. Border Patrol Agents were shot today near Naco, Ariz., leaving one agent dead and another badly wounded.

The gunshots were possibly fired by drug traffickers, federal and county officials said.

The slain agent was Nicholas Ivie, 30. His partner was not immediately identified. A third agent was unharmed.

The agents were part of a three man patrol in the area and were responding to a motion detection sensor when they encountered gunfire, according to Homeland Security officials. Authorities did not know if the agents returned fire.

The agent who was wounded was transported by helicopter to a hospital.

"Border Patrol agents on patrol in Naco, Ariz., were involved in a shooting Tuesday at 1:50 a.m.," U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. "One agent died from his injuries and another, who sustained non-life threatening wounds, was airlifted to a hospital."

Cochise County Deputy Chief Rod Rothrock told ABC News affiliate KNXV, "Due to the time of day and the location, we suspect some kind of narcotics trafficking, but at this point that is speculative."

"Cochise County has been a smuggling corridor for many, many years and that seems to be unabated in modern times," he said.

Rothrock warned, "The danger zone can extend pretty far north of the border."

He said a manhunt was launched in the area, but came up empty.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a statement saying, "I am deeply saddened by the death of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas J. Ivie and the attack on another Border Patrol Agent early this morning. Both agents were on patrol near Bisbee, Ariz., when they came under fire from an unknown assailant."

She vowed to bring the assailants to justice and ordered flags flown at half staff.

Sources familiar with the sensors in the area said they are set to be triggered by a certain weight so that agents don't end up chasing rabbits or coyotes. The sensors are primarily intended to catch smugglers and some have cameras deployed with them. It is not yet know if a camera was operating in the vicinity of the sensor.

The last Border Patrol agent shot and killed along the border was Brian Terry, who was killed by bandits in a rugged part of the U.S.-Mexico border. The guns that killed Terry were linked to a gun trafficking operation run by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms bureau in Arizona called Operation Fast and Furious.

The agents killed and wounded today were assigned to a Border Patrol station that was recently named after Brian Terry.

Rothrock was asked whether any of the Fast and Furious weapons could have been used in today's shooting. "I can't say that's impossible, but at this point it would be purely speculative... As we speak it is not known."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Feds Offer $1 Million Reward for Alleged 'Fast and Furious' Killers

John Moore/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Justice Department officials Monday offered $1 million for the capture of the five Mexican "border bandits" who killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry with an ATF-sourced weapon in the mountains south of Tucson.

Agent Terry's death has been at the center of the Congressional investigation into a botched ATF gun-smuggling investigation dubbed "Fast and Furious." Two weapons linked to the shooting of Agent Terry made it into criminal hands as a result of that operation, which sought to track smuggled guns to drug cartel kingpins. A dispute between Congressional investigators and the Justice Department over "Fast and Furious" documents led to Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress last month.

But despite all the controversy, the details of how Agent Terry was killed have never been revealed until Monday.

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At a news conference in Tucson, Justice Department officials said that on December 14, 2010, Agent Terry and his Border Patrol team were trying to intercept five men who had crossed into the U.S. from Mexico and tripped electronic sensors planted in the southern Arizona desert. The federal agents confronted the men, opening fire with beanbags, not bullets.

It turned out the men were "border bandits," armed gangsters who rob drug smugglers. The bandits returned fire, and in the firefight, Agent Terry was killed. One of the bandits was shot in the foot, and taken into custody, but four other suspects escaped while agents were tending to Agent Terry.

On Monday an indictment charging five individuals involved in the death of Agent Terry was unsealed in Tucson, and a reward of up to $1 million from the FBI for information leading to the arrest of four fugitives was announced by Department of Justice officials.

According to the indictment, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with crimes including first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. A sixth defendant, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, is charged only with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery.

In addition to the murder of Agent Terry, the indictment also alleges that the five defendants assaulted Border Patrol agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza and Timothy Keller, who were with Agent Terry during the firefight.

"Brian Terry was truly an agent's agent," U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura E. Duffy said at the press conference Monday. Duffy promised Terry's family "the very best" her office had to offer. "We will not rest until these individuals are brought to justice."

"Agent Terry served his country honorably and made the ultimate sacrifice in trying to protect it from harm, and we will stop at nothing to bring those responsible for his murder to justice," said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement. "This investigation has previously resulted in one defendant being charged with Agent Terry's murder and taken into custody, and today's announcement reflects the department's unrelenting commitment to finding and arresting the other individuals responsible for this horrific tragedy so that Agent Terry's family, friends and fellow law enforcement agents receive the justice they deserve."

"U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry made the ultimate sacrifice in December of 2010, while protecting our border," stated James L. Turgal Jr., FBI Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix Division. "Today's announcement is an important step forward in the pursuit of justice for Border Patrol Agent Terry and his family. It is our hope that the publicity surrounding this case will lead to information concerning the whereabouts of the remaining four fugitives."

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes has been in custody since his arrest the night of the shooting. Rito Osorio-Arellanes has been in custody since Dec. 12, 2010, when he was arrested by Border Patrol agents on immigration charges. The indictment is being unsealed Monday in order to seek the public's assistance in locating the four fugitive defendants.

This case is being prosecuted in federal court in Tucson by attorneys from the Southern District of California, Special Attorneys Todd W. Robinson, David D. Leshner, and Fred A. Sheppard. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona is recused, because of its involvement in the "Fast and Furious" operation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Car Blows Up After Border Patrol Chase

File photo. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)(SAN DIEGO) -- The driver has died and a Border Patrol agent has been airlifted to the hospital after a car that was being chased by the Border Patrol near the Mexican border exploded when it was forced to stop.

At about 3 a.m. Thursday morning in eastern San Diego County, Customs and Border Patrol spotted a car with Texas plates driving the wrong way down the highway, according to initial reports. Police sources said that the vehicle blew through a CBP checkpoint and agents chased after it.

Agents used a spike strip to deflate the vehicle's tires, and the driver came to a stop on Old Highway 80, just off Interstate 8 about 10 miles north of the border and 40 miles east of San Diego. When one of the agents approached the car, the driver refused to open the door or the driver's side window.

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The agent then attempted to break the window, at which point the vehicle exploded and was engulfed in flames. The agent was knocked to the ground and received lacerations and burns to the face and body. The sole occupant of the vehicle died in the fire.

Authorities have not yet determined what caused the fire, and whether explosives were involved. The San Diego Sheriff's Department bomb and arson team is investigating.

In a statement, a Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson confirmed that a Border Patrol agent stationed in San Diego was recovering from injuries sustained after a vehicle stop and explosion.

"After agents had stopped a car that was reported to have been driving on the wrong side of Interstate 8 the vehicle ignited while the agent was standing near the driver side door," Jenny Burke said. "The driver of the car died at the scene. The agent was transported to the hospital and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. The San Diego Sheriff's Department is currently investigating the incident, along with support from CBP."

The Border Patrol has not released the name of the injured agent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Family of Slain Border Patrol Agent to Testify Before Congress

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The family of a U.S. border patrol agent who was fatally shot in Arizona late last year will testify before Congress Wednesday on the heels of a Congressional report showing that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allowed guns to be illegally purchased in the U.S. and carried into Mexico.

Two guns recovered from the scene where Brian Terry was killed were traced back to the ATF operation dubbed "Fast and Furious."

The joint House and Senate investigative report says the operation was poorly run and that the ATF knowingly allowed as many as 1,800 U.S. guns to be illegally bought by straw purchasers, with many of those firearms being bound for Mexico.

Those weapons, the report alleges, helped fuel the escalating violence and deaths in Mexico.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mexican National Indicted in Killing of Border Patrol Agent

John Moore/Thinkstock(TUCSON, Ariz) -- A Mexican national was indicted Friday in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent who was shot and killed in December.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, of El Fuerte, Mexico faces several charges for his alleged involvement in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was gunned down on December 14, 2010 near Rio Rico, Ariz. Authorities say Osorio-Arellanes was part of an armed group of illegal aliens that engaged in a firefight with Terry and other border patrol agents, during which Terry was fatally shot. Investigators say Osorio-Arellanes was taken into custody after also being wounded in the exchange.

In addition to facing felony immigration charges, Osorio-Arellanes is charged with conspiracy to assault a federal officer; use and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; possession of a firearm by a prohibited person; possession of firearm by a prohibited person and re-entry after deportation.

Investigators believe another member of the group fired the fatal shot, and the shooter along with other members of the group is being sought by authorities.

Trial of Osorio-Arellanes is scheduled to begin on June 17.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bean Bags Fired First in Arizona Shootout Killing Border Patrol Agent

John Moore/Getty Images(TUCSON) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents caught in a violent December standoff with illegal immigrants in Arizona fired the first shots, but with bean bags not bullets newly obtained records show.

At least one of the suspected bandits armed with AK-47 assault rifles returned fire, hitting Agent Brian Terry, who later died.

"When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed 'less than lethal' bean bags at the suspected aliens," FBI search warrant requests say according to the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, which first obtained the documents. The ammunition is designed to wound and take down targets not kill them.

"At this time, at least one of the suspected aliens fired at the Border Patrol agents. Two Border Patrol agents returned fire, one with his long gun and one with his pistol."

Officials have confirmed the agents hit one of the suspects -- Manuel Osorio-Arellanes -- who is the sole individual in custody but not charged with Terry's murder. He's awaiting a May trial for illegal re-entry to the United States after a previous deportation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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