Friday, 25 May, 2018

Death of border agent still a mystery

FBI says no evidence of attack on dead Border Patrol agent Border Patrol agent whose 'murder' Trump used to justify border wall 'was not killed in attack', says FBI
Glenn Montgomery | 11 February, 2018, 05:37

Rogelio Martinez died from injuries sustained in November a year ago while responding to reports of a late-night incident near Interstate 10 in remote west Texas, about 30 miles from the border with Mexico. His badly injured colleague Stephen Garland was lying in the dust nearby.

Two people previously identified as persons of interest are not connected to Martinez's death, or his partner's injuries, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday. Trump said on Twitter soon after that Martinez had been "killed" and his assailants would be brought "to justice".

The U.S. Border Patrol agent whose mysterious death last fall sparked a political firestorm apparently crashed his auto into a ditch shortly before he was found with traumatic head injuries, federal officials said Wednesday.

The only footprints at the scene belonged to the agents and first responders, the memo said.

Garland, less seriously injured, was taken to the hospital by Border Patrol agents. "The manner of death is undetermined". The investigation, to date, however "has not conclusively determined" how the two agents ended up at the bottom of the culvert - a tunnel structure used for water drainage - according to Emmerson Buie Jr., the special agent in charge of the FBI's El Paso division.

"I've been holding myself, but I'm going to say it, I don't feel like they've been investigating the other agent the way they've been investigating me", Ochoa told KTSM-TV.

"We do not know all the answers at this time", McAleenan wrote in the memo. The FBI began investigating the incident as a "potential assault" but released few details early on and cautioned against speculation. As part of this effort, the FBI has investigated multiple theories, including whether the Border Patrol Agents were ambushed or attacked or whether their injuries were as a result of an accident or any other relevant criminal activity. One was killed by an alleged smuggler.

Border Patrol pallbearers carry Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez to a graveside service at Restlawn Cemetery, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 in El Paso, Texas.

"We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible", Trump tweeted. "We will, and must, build the Wall!"

Although Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Sen.

The union was quick to say the agents were attacked after the incident.

Martinez's death was immediately seized upon by members of the Republican Party.

"Maybe it's a cautionary tale that all of us need to take a deep breath when things like this happen and realize that we don't have all the information and wait until we get a little more information before reaching conclusions", Cornyn said. His partner suffered head trauma and told investigators he could not remember what happened.

The autopsy also showed a drug in Martinez's system: butalbital, a barbiturate often found in drugs combined with aspirin, acetaminophen, caffeine or codeine.

Cabrera questioned why the agents would have defensive wounds if they were ambushed. Garland may never recall what happened that night, they said. Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the agents' union, hastily concluded the agents were brutally beaten with rocks. The FBI in El Paso said Wednesday it can not find any evidence that an attack led to his death. "It would be very easy for somebody to hide, and as we walk by, to strike us in the head".

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