Del Rio, Texas, Border Patrol Agents Arrest Convicted Sex Offender

DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to Del Rio Station arrested a convicted sex offender, Feb. 9.

Agents arrested Jorge Ramirez-Barrera, 34, a citizen of Mexico, shortly after he illegally entered the United States. During processing, records checks revealed that Ramirez-Barrera was convicted of aggravated kidnapping and sexual abuse in 2017, and was sentenced to 156 days of imprisonment. A Border Patrol spokeswoman said Ramirez-Barrera was most recently removed from the United States in 2017.

As a convicted felon, he faces a charge of “Re-entry After Deportation,” which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Given President Joe Biden’s border policies, it is uncertain whether Ramirez-Barrera will be tried, released, or housed in a hotel at taxpayer expense.

“Thanks to Del Rio agents, this predator convicted of aggravated kidnapping and sexual abuse was arrested and prevented from committing more crimes in the United States,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin L. Skero II. “The agents of Del Rio Sector are laser focused on protecting our nation from all threats.”

Law Enforcement Cooperation in Laredo Sector Leads to Arrest of Child Sex Offender Among 30 Illegals

LAREDO, TEXAS – While working with local law enforcement agencies, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested an individual with a criminal history of Sexual Assault of a Child southwest of Hebbronville, Texas.

On Feb. 3, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO) unmanned aircraft system spotted a large group of people walking in the brush.  Agents — along with the Laredo Sector Horse Patrol Unit, a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Air Asset, and a CBP Air Unit — apprehended 30 individuals.  They were all determined to be illegally in the United States and were from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Illegals apprehended near Laredo, Texas

Record checks were conducted on all the individuals and identified one subject in the group as a child sex offender.  Eril Lainez-Corea, a 29-year old Honduran national had been arrested in 2018, convicted of Sexual Offense Against a Child-Fondling in Wauseon, Ohio, and sentenced to two years of probation.  His record further revealed that he had an extensive criminal history.

Lainez-Corea said he voted for Joe Biden and was released on his own recognizance. More seriously: Lainez-Corea is being held by the U.S. Border Patrol pending prosecution of his immigration violations.  He will be remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.

Texas Customs and Border Patrol Officers Seize Nearly $1.9 Million in Narcotics in Three Seizures

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – In three separate enforcement actions this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Brownsville Port of Entry intercepted alleged narcotics that have a combined estimated street value of $1,892,620.

The first drug seizure took place on Sunday, Jan. 10, at the Veterans International Bridge at Brownsville when a 59-year-old male Mexican citizen from Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, applied for entry into the United States He was driving a 2007 Mercedes Benz autobus, which was referred to a CBP secondary examination station where, with the aid of a canine unit and a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered 58 packages hidden within the autobus. 

Packages containing 67 pounds of cocaine seized by CBP officers at Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry.

Packages containing 67 pounds of cocaine seized by CBP officers at Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry.

Officers removed the packages, which contained a total of 67.18 pounds of alleged cocaine.

The second seizure took place on Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Gateway International Bridge when a 26-year-old female United States citizen from Edinburg, Texas, driving a 2000 Honda Accord applied for entry into the United States.  The vehicle was referred to secondary examination after a canine sniffing the vehicle alerted officers to something suspicious. With the aid of a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered 20 packages hidden within the Honda Accord, which contained a total of 23.32 pounds of alleged methamphetamine.

The third seizure took place on Friday, Jan. 15, at the Gateway International Bridge when a 18-year-old male United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas, applied for entry into the United States as the driver of a 2008 Dodge Avenger.  The vehicle was referred to CBP secondary for further examination after a primary inspection.  In secondary, with the aid of a canine unit and a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered 11 packages hidden within the Dodge Avenger which contained a total of 27.69 pounds of alleged cocaine and one package which contained a total of 3.52 pounds of alleged meth.

The estimated street value of the narcotics from the seizures is approximately $1,142,060, $466,493 and $284,067, respectively, for a total of nearly $1.9 million.

CBP officers seized the narcotics along with the vehicles, arrested the drivers and turned them over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.

“Our CBP officers’ hard work and dedication has led to these significant narcotics seizures and our streets are safer for it,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry.

Rio Grande Sector Border Patrol Agents Seize More Than 800 Pounds of Marijuana, Worth an Estimated $647,000

This is what about 800 pounds of marijuana looks like. This batch of pot was seized by BPD agents in Hidalgo, Texas, back in January 2018. (We assume the latest seizures weren’t as photogenic.)

EDINBURG, Texas– Over the weekend, Border Patrol agents interdicted multiple marijuana smuggling attempts, collecting a total of 810 pounds of pot with an estimated street value of $647,000.

The afternoon of Dec. 18, Brownsville Station agents in Texas observed multiple individuals near a Chevrolet Tahoe parked on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. The Tahoe was then seen leaving the area and driving on Military Highway. Agents attempted to stop the vehicle, but the suspect failed to yield. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers in the area, assisted Border Patrol by taking over pursuit.

The driver of the Tahoe changed direction and began driving towards the Rio Grande River. The suspect vehicle was eventually driven into the river, where it was partially submerged. The driver and a passenger were seen swimming into Mexico. Agents retrieved 15 bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 348 pounds, with an estimated value of $278,000. The marijuana and vehicle were turned over to DPS.

Later that day, Fort Brown Border Patrol agents in Brownsville were alerted to three subjects carrying bundles of suspected narcotics near Highway 4. Agents searched the area where the suspects were last seen and discovered three abandoned bundles of marijuana weighing about 114 pounds with an estimated street value of over $91,000. The suspects were not located.

The evening of Dec. 20, Rio Grande City agents working near El Refugio, Texas, observed a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed away from Rio Grande and onto the Expressway 83. Agents then observed the vehicle drive into a nearby neighborhood. The occupants of the vehicle were seen abandoning the vehicle and running into a nearby residence. Agents inspected the abandoned vehicle and found four large bundles of marijuana inside, weighing 348 pounds with an approximate value of $278,000. The suspects were later taken into custody by the Rio Grande City Police Department, which also received the pot and vehicle.

Texas sues Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, charging ‘unconstitutional’ election actions

Stiglich editorial cartoon; Biden's gov't steal

The State of Texas is aiming to help Trump upend the election result. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (a Republican) filed suit at the U.S. Supreme Court against the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, calling changes those states made to election procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic unlawful and unconstitutional.

“You might be wondering, what does Texas care about Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin?” Rush Limbaugh said Dec. 8. “If those four states are allowed to violate election law and if they are able to render state legislators irrelevant in writing election law, then they are being affected in Texas by violation of law, and they don’t want that to happen. They’re trying to make sure that election law is kept sacrosanct and that the Constitution is not violated. It’s a big case.”

Texas filed a motion for leave to file a “Bill of Complaint” with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin’s administration of the 2020 presidential election. The Supreme Court gave the states being sued a deadline of 3 p.m. Dec. 10 to file a response to Texas’ suit. Texas’ filing, which includes a request for expedited review and a preliminary injunction, runs more than 150 pages.

Under the Constitution, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over certain types of cases, including those involving disputes between states. However, the court has to agree to hear the dispute, which is why Texas is asking for permission to file its suit.

“In its memorandum in support of its motion, Texas argues that the case ‘presents constitutional questions of immense national consequences,’ namely that the 2020 election suffered from serious constitutional irregularities, including violations by the defendant states of the Electors Clause and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution,” Margot Cleveland writes in The Federalist. “The brief also argues that a ruling would help ‘preserve the Constitution and help prevent irregularities in future elections’.”

Along with its Motion for Leave to File a Bill of Complaint, Texas also filed a Motion for Expedited Consideration of its motions, including its second motion, a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, Temporary Restraining Order, or Alternatively a Stay. In this latter motion, Texas asks the court to order Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania not to take any action to certify presidential electors, participate in the Electoral College, or vote for a presidential candidate until the Supreme Court resolves Texas’s lawsuit.

Noting that federal law establishes Dec. 8 as a safe harbor for certifying presidential electors, that the Electoral College votes on Dec. 14, and the House of Representatives counts votes on Jan. 6, Texas implores the court to expedite the proceeding, as “absent some form of relief, the defendants will appoint electors based on unconstitutional and deeply uncertain election results.”

Count 1 – States Violated the Electors Clause

Notwithstanding some (mostly liberal) pundits calling the Texas lawsuit a “Hail Mary” attempt to block the outcome of the 2020 election, the Lone Star State’s complaint presents serious constitutional issues. Those issues, as Texas puts it, far exceed the electoral irregularities of “the hanging-chad saga of the 2000 (Bush-Gore) election.”

In its Bill of Complaint, filed along with its Motion for Leave, Texas presents three constitutional challenges. Count 1 alleges the defendant states violated the Electors Clause of the Constitution.

The Electors Clause of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides “[e]ach state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” As Texas notes, this clause “makes clear that only the legislatures of the States are permitted to determine the rules for appointing presidential electors.”

But, as Texas reveals in its detailed summary of the facts, each of the defendant states, through non-legislative actors, nullified legislatively established election laws in violation of the Electors Clause. For example, The Federalist reports and the lawsuit alleges, several large Wisconsin counties used drop boxes in direct violation of the Wisconsin Election Code that provides detailed procedures by which municipalities may designate sites for the acceptance of absentee ballots. Wisconsin election officials also ignored the statutory certification requirements for absentee ballots, counting votes that the state legislature defined as illegal because they did not include a witness signature and address.

Michigan election officials likewise violated the statutory mandates established by the state legislature, with the secretary of state mass mailing absentee ballots in contravention of state law. And in Wayne County, the home of Detroit’s Democratic stronghold, election officials ignored the state’s signature verification requirement. Georgia also violated the legislature’s requirement for signature verifications, according to Texas’s complaint.

The most egregious violations alleged came from Pennsylvania, where election officials ignored the statutory bar on inspecting ballots before election day, then illegally provided voter information to third parties and allowed illegal curing of the ballots. Significantly, in Pennsylvania these illegal practices only occurred in Democratic strongholds, with Republicans following the law.

These and other practices, Texas alleges, establish a clear violation of the Electors Clause, because that clause makes clear that it is the state legislature—and not administrative agencies, election officials, or even courts—charged under our constitutional system with selecting electors. (This argument finds support in the three-justice concurrence authored by then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Bush v. Gore.) From there, Texas’s Count 1 argues that “electors appointed to Electoral College in violation of the Electors Clause cannot cast constitutionally valid votes for the office of President.”

Count 2 – States Violated the Equal Protection Clause

In Count 2, Texas relied on the same facts, then asserted an Equal Protection claim, premised on the reasoning of the majority opinion in Bush v. Gore. In Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution is violated when states apply differing standards for judging the legality of votes cast for president.

“The right to vote is protected in more than the initial allocation of the franchise,” the Supreme Court wrote. “Equal protection applies as well to the manner of its exercise. Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms, the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person’s vote over that of another.”

Then, citing its detailed statement of the facts, which highlighted the defendant states’ disparate treatment of voters, Texas argues in Count 2 that “equal protection violations in one State can and do adversely affect and diminish the weight of votes cast in States that lawfully abide by the election structure set forth in the Constitution.”

Count 3 – States Violated the Due Process Clause

Finally, in Count 3, Texas asserts a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. This claim is premised on Texas’s allegation that the election practices of the defendant states in 2020 reached “the point of patent and fundamental unfairness,” thus violating substantive due process.

These three counts, and the detailed facts Texas alleges, make clear that Texas’s beef is not with the states’ election laws, but with the states’ violation of their own election laws, in contravention of the U.S. Constitution.

Seventeen other states have filed briefs supporting Texas’ suit.

Texas’ Standing to Sue

Merely alleging the defendant states violated the Constitution, however, is not enough. Texas must also establish that it has “standing” to sue, meaning it has been injured in a way entitling it to stand before the court and seek redress. In its Motion for Leave, Texas argues at great length that it has standing, and presents three separate bases for it.

First, Texas claims the right to present the constitutional claims of its citizens, who “have the right to demand that all other States abide by the constitutionally set rules in appointing presidential electors to the electoral college.”

Second, Texas “presses its own form of voting-rights injury as States” premised on the structure of the Constitution. “Whereas the House represents the People proportionally, the Senate represents the States,” Texas notes. Thus, “[w]hile Americans likely care more about who is elected President, the States have a distinct interest in who is elected Vice President and thus who can cast the tiebreaking vote in the Senate,” the Texas brief stresses. “Through that interest,” the brief continues:

States suffer an Article III injury when another State violates federal law to affect the outcome of a presidential election. This injury is particularly acute in 2020, where a Senate majority often will hang on the Vice President’s tie-breaking vote because of the nearly equal — and, depending on the outcome of Georgia run-off elections in January, possibly equal — balance between political parties. Quite simply, it is vitally important to the States who becomes Vice President.

Finally, Texas argues it has standing to sue as a representative of the state’s “electors.” These electors, Texas argues, suffer a “legislative injury whenever allegedly improper actions deny them a working majority.” Since “[t]he electoral college is a zero-sum game,” the unconstitutional appointment of electors in other states injures Texas’s electors, according to the briefing.

Texas is Not Seeking to Overturn the Election

These injuries, Texas asserts, demand a remedy. But the remedy sought is not what some may surmise is the goal—a second term for President Trump. No, what Texas seeks is for the Supreme Court to mandate that the defendant states comply with the Constitution, and that means that electors are selected by the states’ legislatures. Texas makes this point clear, stressing: “Plaintiff State does not ask this Court to decide who won the election; they only ask that the Court enjoin the clear violations of the Electors Clause of the Constitution.”

Texas’ filing includes the following:

Our Country stands at an important crossroads. Either the Constitution matters and must be followed, even when some officials consider it inconvenient of our of date, or it is simply a piece of parchment on display at the National Archives. We ask the Court to choose the former.

Customs and Border Protection Arrests Man Wanted for Child Sexual Assault

DALLAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officers at the Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport arrested a traveler wanted for sexual assault of a child, Nov. 22.

CBP officers intercepted Jose Alfaro, a 66-year-old U.S. citizen, as he disembarked a flight from El Salvador over the weekend.  A warrant out of Galveston,Texas was issued for Alfaro for aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.

2020-11-24 IAH - Back of CBPO working egress - EC6A1623 CBP officers arrested Alfaro and turned him over to the Texas Department of Public Safety at DFW Airport.  Charges and allegations contained in criminal complaints are merely accusations.  Suspects are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

“CBP officers are vigilant and trained to detect, identify and apprehend wanted suspects,” said Timothy Lemaux, Dallas Area Port Director. “As a law enforcement agency, our officers are committed to carrying out our mission of protecting our Nation.”

Border Patrol arrests sex offenders, criminal aliens in the Rio Grande Valley

EDINBURG, Texas – Over the weekend, Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents arrested three sex offenders and two members of violent criminal organizations.

Rio Grande City agents working near Roma, Texas, on Nov. 13 arrested a Guatemalan national, later identified as Amos Nemias Lopez-Ramirez, shortly after he illegally entered the United States. During processing, record checks revealed he is a confirmed Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member. Records revealed he had previously been arrested in Virginia by the Harrisonburg Police Department for assault and sentenced to five years incarceration.

That same day, McAllen agents working in Los Ebanos, Texas, arrested a Guatemalan national whose record checks identified him as Jose Cottoc-Machic. Furthermore, agents discovered the man was previously arrested in Alabama by the Russellville Police Department and charged with sexual assault-rape 2nd degree. A judge sentenced Cottoc-Machic to eight years imprisonment but suspended his sentence to three months and five years probation.

The following morning, Falfurrias, Texas, agents arrested Jose Vasquez-Chavez, a Salvadoran national attempting to circumvent the immigration checkpoint. During processing, record checks revealed he had previously been arrested by the Katy Police Department for sexual assault of a child, convicted, and sentenced to two years confinement.

Later that evening, McAllen agents arrested a Mexican national, later identified as Fernando Jimenez-Rodriguez, after he illegally entered the United States.

Jose Tomas Vasquez-Chavez, convicted sex offender.

During processing, his record checks revealed a previous arrest by the Dallas Police Department for indecency with a child. Jimenez-Rodriguez received a two year prison sentence.

On Nov. 16, Rio Grande city agents on patrol near the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas, arrested a Mexican national after he was rafted across the river by a human smuggler. During processing, the man identified himself as a member of a criminal organization, Los Metros, which has been identified as a faction of the Gulf Cartel.

ICE, Border Patrol raid of Chaparral stash house results in 57 arrests

CHAPARRAL, N.M. – Continuing a recent trend, U.S. Border Patrol and ICE agents discovered a crowded stash house containing 48 illegal aliens last week.

El Paso Border Patrol Agents investigating a potential smuggling scheme encountered seven illegal aliens near the El Paso International Airport. The illegal aliens provided information that led to the discovery of four dozen other illegal aliens inside the stash house in Chaparral, New Mexico.

CPB, 2 agents at the border fence

Standing in front of a stretch of border wall.

Following the discovery, a lawfully admitted permanent resident and his wife were arrested on smuggling charges. The aliens from Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico also were arrested, making a total of 57 people taken into custody.

The Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deportation Officers (ICE-DO) took part in the arrests.

The stash house discovery comes on the heels of a recent take-down last month where 32 persons were found inside of an El Paso, Texas, stash house in the Lower Valley.

 “Border Patrol Agents, joined by HSI and ICE-DO identified a stash house with 48 illegal aliens inside a Chaparral, New Mexico residence,” stated El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “This incident demonstrates the continued exploitation by transnational criminal organizations who repeatedly use humans for profit regardless of the inherent risks including the potential for the spread of COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic.”

CBP seizes narcotics worth $681K at Mid-Valley International Bridges in Texas

PHARR, Texas—Two persons were arrested Sept. 18 in connection with two failed drug smuggling attempts of alleged methamphetamine and marijuana in separate, unrelated incidents.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) made the busts at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility and at the Anzalduas International Bridge in Texas.

“These two seizures of narcotics in separate environments are indicative of drug-smuggling organizations’ persistence in bringing drugs across the border,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “Our officers remain committed to the safety of our communities and seizures like these are the result.”

At left: Packages containing 486 pounds of marijuana seized by CBP officers at Pharr International Bridge, Texas.

On Sept. 16, 2020, a CBP officer assigned to the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge referred for further inspection a 23-year-old woman, a U.S. citizen from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico who was driving a Chrysler Pacifica. Using non-intrusive imaging (NII) equipment as part of the secondary examination, officers discovered 21 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 29 pounds (13.24 kg) concealed within the car. The drugs have a street value of $583,778.

Later that day at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility, a CBP officer referred a 63-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a tractor with an empty trailer for a secondary examination, which resulted in the discovery of 204 packages of alleged marijuana hidden within the trailer. The packages that weighed 486 pounds (220.5 kg) are valued at $97,222.

CBP OFO seized all the narcotics, the tractor/trailer and the car and arrested the man and woman. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took them both into custody and continue with the investigations.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For more information about CBP, please click on the attached link.

CBP officers discover narcotics worth over $2 million at Pharr International Bridge, Texas

PHARR, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents intercepted $2,361,500 worth of alleged methamphetamine and heroin in a commercial trailer arriving from Mexico. The drugs were seized by the CBP Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility.

“This interception of dangerous drugs truly exemplifies the teamwork of our officers working at our cargo facility,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “CBP continues to analyze smuggling methods and utilize intelligence, experience and technology to keep our border communities safe and secure.”

Packages containing 85.63 pounds of methamphetamine and 16.22 pounds of heroin seized by CBP officers at Pharr International Bridge.

On Sep. 16, at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility, a CBP officer referred a tractor/trailer hauling a commercial shipment of fresh produce for further inspection. The secondary examination included the assistance of a (canine team) and subsequently officers discovered suspected narcotics hidden within the shipment. Officers removed 162 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 85.63 pounds (38.84 kg) and 30 packages of alleged heroin weighing 16.22 pounds (7.36 kg). These drugs are valued at $1,712,500 and $649,000, respectively.

CBP OFO seized the narcotics along with the tractor/trailer and the case remains under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Source: CBP newsroom