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March 11, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Two supervisory U.S. Border Patrol agents pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that they released illegal immigrants from federal custody in exchange for $300,000 in cash bribes. Mario Alvarez, 44, and Samuel McClaren, 43, who worked with Mexican authorities on a successful anti-smuggling program, were charged with migrant smuggling, conspiracy, bribery, smuggling and other crimes in a federal complaint.
February 11, 2006 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
A van loaded with 27 suspected illegal migrants overturned Friday trying to elude U.S. Border Patrol agents on State Route 905. Twenty one people were hurt -- eight with life-threatening injuries -- when the driver swerved to avoid a spike strip laid down by agents, sending the vehicle tumbling down an embankment, said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
February 8, 2006 | Nick Timiraos, Times Staff Writer
Mexican military personnel illegally crossed the border last month and aided Mexican drug traffickers pursued by the U.S. Border Patrol, a law enforcement official and the head of the Border Patrol union told a congressional hearing Tuesday. The Jan. 23 incident involving U.S.
January 31, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. Border Patrol has arrested a Mexican immigration official caught traveling in the United States with a group of undocumented migrants, and may charge him with human smuggling, U.S. officials said. Immigration agent Francisco Javier Gutierrez, 43, was stopped Sunday at a checkpoint near Alamogordo, N.M., about 80 miles north of the border, said Doug Mosier, a spokesman for the Border Patrol in El Paso.
January 4, 2006 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
The Mexican government has requested an investigation into the death of an unarmed Mexican man who was shot, allegedly by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, over the weekend. The incident Friday night highlights the increasing levels of violence along the San Diego-Tijuana border, and is being used by the Mexican government as an example of what it calls inhumane U.S. immigration policies.
December 13, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A former Border Patrol agent was sentenced Monday to five years in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle 749 pounds of marijuana into the United States. Luis Francisco Higareda, 30, was caught with marijuana worth $600,000 in his Border Patrol vehicle near El Centro, according to U.S. Atty. Carol Lam. A co-conspirator, Marcelino Verdugo, 24, a Mexican national, is set to be sentenced next month in federal court.
December 8, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. Border Patrol will add 1,700 new agents along the Mexican border this fiscal year, with Arizona getting more than 640 of them, Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar said in Tucson. "The personnel are absolutely key to our continued progress in gaining control of the border," Aguilar said.
October 31, 2005 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
Assaults against U.S. Border Patrol agents nearly doubled along the Mexican border over the last year as patrols cracking down on drug trafficking and migrant smuggling encountered increasing resistance -- including the use of rocks, Molotov cocktails and gunfire. At least 687 assaults against agents were reported during the fiscal year that ended Sept.
October 3, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A Border Patrol agent fatally shot a suspected smuggler of illegal immigrants during an early morning confrontation in an industrial area near the border, police said Sunday. The agent was trying to question the driver of a Chevrolet Suburban parked in an area of Otay Mesa where smugglers are known to pick up illegal immigrants. In an attempt to flee, the driver grabbed the agent's gun, police said. Police Lt. Kevin Rooney said the agent fired his gun at the driver, who died at 3:31 a.m.
September 9, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
A U.S. border officer was acquitted in Buffalo of violating a Chinese tourist's civil rights when he pushed her head into the pavement and pepper-sprayed her. Government prosecutors said Homeland Security officer Robert Rhodes used excessive force against Zhao Yan, 38, a businesswoman from Tianjin who was touring Niagara Falls in July 2004.
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