Michael Webster
July 26, 2009
Authorities on both sides of the border detain suspects in regard to the killing of border agent
By Michael Webster

Authorities in Mexico claim they have arrested four men in relation to the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Robert Rosas. Many U. S. news outlets reported over the week end that U.S. authorities also arrested three people in connection with the Thursday killing of a Border Patrol agent in San Diego County were arrested at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose Friday the two men and a woman where discovered as authorities searched hospitals for a person or persons possibly wounded in the murder of agent Rosas.

The detainees in Mexico according to Mexican law enforcement are allegedly part of a drug and immigrant smuggling organization. More than 20 Mexican nationals were together with the suspects when police detained them. Mexican police report they seized weapons among this group near Tecate, Mexico, said Elias Alvarez Hernandez, coordinator of federal police in Baja California.

Whether it was illegal immigrants or drug smugglers is not immediately clear. What is certain is Border Agent Robert Wimer Rosas, was killed in the line of duty by unidentified individuals at 9:15 PM on July 23rd while on duty patrolling the U.S. Mexican border.

At the news conference held Saturday Mexico police did not say what evidence if any they had against the four, identified as Jose Quintero Ruiz, 43, and his brother Jose Eugenio Quintero Ruiz, 49, and taxi drivers Jose Alfredo Camacho, 34 and Antonio Valladares, 57.

Agent Robert Rosas was killed Thursday while responding alone to a suspected border incursion near Campo, a town in rugged, arid terrain in southeastern San Diego County. He was shot in the head and body and was dead when other agents arrived, said Keith Slotter, special agent in charge of the FBI's San Diego bureau.

Federal police reported one of the four suspects told police that a man detained Friday with a handgun had shot Rosas. Tecate police said Friday they had arrested 36-year-old Ernesto Parra Valenzuela near the crime scene with a Border Patrol-issued weapon after the shooting.

FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth told The Associated Press in an e-mail late Saturday that he could not confirm or comment on any arrest reports.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department confirmed that agent Rosas was shot in the head.

U.S. investigators said blood evidence at the scene indicated at least one culprit and possibly others had serious injuries, possible wounded by Rosas.

Warning alerts by American officials have expressed concerns that the drug cartel battles plaguing Mexico could spill into the United States with the targeting of U.S. law enforcement.

Investigators aren't ruling out the possibility that Rosas was slain by drug smugglers, human smugglers or even terrorist.

Arturo Sarukhan, the Mexican ambassador to the United States, said Mexican law enforcement agencies are cooperating in the case.

"This is a tragic example of the violence we keep facing at our common border as President (Felipe) Calderon continues to roll back transnational organized crime, and underscores the need for both our countries to keep working as full partners to guarantee the safety and security of those living on both sides of our border communities," Sarukhan said in a written statement Saturday.

Rosas was the first Border Patrol agent to die in a shooting in more than a decade, according to The Officer Down Memorial Page Inc., which tracks fallen officers using information provided by law enforcement agencies. Another agent, Luis Aguilar, was intentionally run over by a fleeing man driving a drug-laden Hummer in January 2008.

Rosas, a three-year Border Patrol veteran, had a 2-year-old son and an 11-month-old daughter, said Richard Barlow, acting chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol's San Diego sector.

Authorities could not confirm reports that he called for backup and then went ahead before anyone arrived, but said it isn't unusual for agents to work alone along the border.

Since 1919, 108 Border Patrol agents have died on duty, according to The Officer Down Memorial Page. Gunfire was the leading cause with 30 deaths, followed by automobile accidents and aircraft accidents.

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the killer or killers.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, told the AP "I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of our own," Napolitano said in the statement.

Rep. Darrell Issa issued a statement Friday about Rosa's slaying.

"What happened last night was a tragedy and a painful acknowledgment that at any time, our Border Patrol agents may be put into an extraordinary circumstance," Issa said. "The thoughts and prayers of our entire region are with the family and friends of this fallen agent."

Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) warned that Rosas' killing was a wake-up call and another example of how the violence related to illegal aliens and drugs crossed over the border along with the smugglers

The Minutemen group reported that the shooting incident occurred on U.S. territory about 100 feet north of the border after several agents responded to a call from a minuteman scout/ observer that four persons had trespassed over the border in front of his outpost at about 8:45 pm last night. The outpost is located at the border in Campo, Ca., about 60 miles east of San Diego.

The minuteman scout, a member of the Campo Minutemen organization, told Minuteman Project president Jim Gilchrist that within minutes of his call about a half dozen agents responded and approached the intruders on foot. A foot chase ensued whereupon one of the intruders opened fire on Agent Rosas. He died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head. The shooter and his accomplices are believed to have fled back into Mexico.

Sources:

Arturo Sarukhan, the Mexican ambassador to the United States

Associated Press / NBC TV Bay Area

The Officer Down Memorial Page

San Diego County Sheriff's Department

ICE

FBI

Tecate Police Dept.

Elias Alvarez Hernandez, coordinator of federal police in Baja California.

Mexican Federal Police

For Related Articles go to: www.lagunajournal.com

© Michael Webster

 

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Michael Webster

Michael Webster's Syndicated Investigative Reports are read worldwide, in 100 or more U.S. outlets and in at least 136 countries and territories. He publishes articles in association with global news agencies and media information services with more than 350 news affiliates in 136 countries... (more)

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