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Ugly Stories

--- part one ---





Boy, it sure is good to be a federal agent. It allows you exemption from federal, state and local laws!

NOT!!!



Traffic Violations

Unfortunately, this misconception is the perception of many of these young, inexperienced agents today. They drive their marked service vehicles at high rates of speed in non-emergency situations, passing in no-passing zones and generally putting the public they are meant to protect in the way of great physical harm. They also run stop signs and red lights, then have the audacity to argue with, or even completely and blatantly ignore state and local law enforcement officials!




Destruction of Property and Trespassing

Many of our highly trained, overpaid border guards will not think twice about illegally entering a citizens private property "in the pursuit of justice." Agents have also been known to knock down or cut fences that "got in their way" or "hampered their timely enforcement of the law." Many unthinking agents operate under the belief that every vehicle parked on the side of the road has been left there only for the concenience of illegal aliens or the conveyance of illega narcotics. The response of said agents is to, illegally mind you, damage, destroy, and "disable," such vehicles. Can you believe that some agents have even dared to bury, sink, or torch some of these "abandoned" vehicles. Somehow they believe that this blatant violation of laws is supposed to stop the activity they are meant to deter. How can a representative of the law have such a poor appreciation of the laws of our country? Obviously, the individuals participating in this behavior have neither morals nor self-respect!




Civil Liberties Violations

How many times have United States citizens and legal resident aliens been abused, mistreated, and even arrested? We have received numerous reports of such embarrassing activity, but we have no way of reporting a total. This is mostly because the agency condones the hiding or covering-up of such incidents. Injured aliens are often ignored or quickly returned to Mexico without a record of their apprehension being made. Oftentimes, the Border Patrol attempts to illegally return undocumented aliens from other countries to Mexico in their attempt to avoid "excessive paperwork." These horrendous cases of deriliction of duty should not --and must not be tolerated by the American public! Our United States is a world leader and watchdog for international human rights. How can we allow such actions to take place within our own government??!!




Arizona Border Patrol Agent Charged in Texas Murder

Published on 11/14/98 By James Pinkerton, Houston Chronicle

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has become the second law officer charged this week in the 4-year-old murder of a young mother, officials said Friday. Cameron County prosecutors said Randall Bruner Ledbetter, 30, a former Brownsville police officer and currently a Border Patrol agent in Douglas, was arrested in Arizona late Thursday and charged with murdering Laura Lugo. Published on 11/18/98 Associated Press BROWNSVILLE, Texas - Laura Lugo, who successfully waged a custody battle for a baby she said was stolen from her at birth, was killed by two police officers over a romantic relationship, according to an affidavit. The details of Lugo's 1994 murder came from Janet Ramirez Lozano, 28, who is charged in the case along with U.S. Border Patrol Agent Randal Bruner Ledbetter, 30, a former Brownsville police officer, and fellow former Brownsville officer Roberto Guadalupe Briseno, 44.




Deranged Border Patrol Agent Kills His Own Wife

By Larry Lee / El Paso Herald-Post -- An off-duty Border Patrol agent allegedly shot his wife to death Friday night in Socorro. A Sheriff's Department dispatcher who was talking on the phone to someone in the house heard the shooting. The victim, Maria Alvarez Leavitt, 30, died at Columbia Medical Center-East. The shooting occurred at 7:19 p.m. at her mother's house at 10724 Donna Marie Street, Socorro. The suspect, Alexandro Alvarez, 32, later turned himself in to El Paso police at 2717 Archie Drive, not far from Border Patrol headquarters. Alvarez was facing dismissal from his job because of personal problems, said Deputy Border Patrol Chief Alan Gordon. Sheriff's dispatcher Mark Ball said he wasn't sure whether the woman he was talking to at the time of the shooting was the victim or a family member. "I could hear several females in there screaming, and I heard the male," Ball said. The caller "said there was a guy in the house and he has a gun. ... I could hear shots being fired." Then, he said, "She dropped the phone and I heard screaming." The shooting took place during a family fight that started outside and ended inside a bedroom of the house, said sheriff's Lt. Daniel Wilbur. "During the fight the husband pulled a weapon, firing at his wife, striking her several times. He then fled the house," said Wilbur. The couple were in the process of separating, he said. The Border Patrol sent an investigative unit to the scene, Gordon said.




Border Patrol Agents Enjoy Roughing-Up People They Don't Think Deserve Basic Human Rights

By IAN ITH Staff Writer MOUNT VERNON -- Two dozen U.S. Border Patrol agents swooped down upon a pumpkin farm outside Mount Vernon yesterday morning and arrested 58 suspected illegal immigrants. But the owners of North Fork Farms and advocates for migrant workers say the Border Patrol is up to its old tricks -- racism, bullying and violence. "This is completely unacceptable," said Hollis Pfitsch, a coordinator for the Seattle-based Washington Alliance for Immigrant and Refugee Justice. "Law enforcement is one thing. Abuse of power is something else." Agents used an aircraft and a search warrant to descend on the farm, at 1427 Kamb Road, onlookers said. Agents rounded up 41 men and 17 women suspected of having improper work documents. Six of the suspects were arrested at a leek farm next door. Border Patrol officials didn't return telephone messages this morning. Standard practice calls for the workers to be taken to a holding facility in Seattle. There, they may request a court hearing or agree to be deported right away. The owner of the farm, Michelle Youngquist, couldn't be reached to comment this morning. In a written statement, however, she said she was not aware that any of her workers were undocumented. She said she witnessed no abuse but heard about it later. Meanwhile, advocates for the workers were crying foul this morning. Agents roughed up several workers during the arrest and dehumanized the rest, said Pfitsch. She said she has written statements from several witnesses. At least one worker was thrown against the side of a Border Patrol van so hard the vehicle shook, Pfitsch said. Another witness, Hugo Torres, said he saw an agent grab the breasts and buttocks of female workers. "When I told him that he wasn't supposed to be doing that, he started to question me," wrote Torres, a worker at the farm. "When he realized I was a U.S. citizen, he got a shocked look on his face and then would not look me in the eyes." Bob Ekblad, director of Burlington's Skagit Valley Hispanic Ministries, said this is not the first time the Border Patrol has been accused of abuse. "It's sort of ironic that as soon as the major harvests end, the Border Patrol makes their big raids," Ekblad said. "These people are the few people who will do this kind of work, pick leeks in the mud, and the thanks we give them is to rally them up and deport them." This latest raid is but one in a string of recent Border Patrol roundups in Skagit County that have raised the ire of employers and advocates for migrant farm workers. Last October, the owners at El Gitano restaurant in downtown Burlington complained that half a dozen plain-clothed Border Patrol agents roughed up several workers before carting off a busboy with improper documentation. The rest of the workers were legal. A month earlier, Border Patrol agents raided the Crystal Ocean Seafoods plant in Burlington and used buses to haul off 61 workers. Witnesses said the agents tackled and manhandled the frightened workers. Agents were also accused of tearing a newborn baby from the mother's arms. "It creates a climate of fear," Pfitsch said. "It extends beyond specific abuses to an atmosphere where people feel afraid, whether they're undocumented or here legally." The Border Patrol is also accused of stopping and questioning people simply because of the color of their skin, Pfitsch said. "We call it Walking While Latino," she said. Pfitsch said her organization plans on pursuing complaints with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, which oversees the Border Patrol. Meanwhile, she said, they are hoping that the public might share their outrage at the Border Patrol's behavior. "Migrant workers are from countries where authority is more oppressive," she said. "It's starting to seem like our law enforcement is looking a lot like those countries." Copyright 1997 by Skagit Valley Herald




Border Patrol Agents Storm the Mexican Consulate

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Two months ago, four U.S. Border Patrol agents chased a man into the Mexican consulate in Nogales without permission, and the intrusion highlighted a flaw in their training. By entering a foreign mission without invitation - despite it being on American soil - the agents violated diplomatic immunity. The chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson sector, Ronald Sanders, decided that issue needed to be resolved quickly. ''If you train them that they should not go into a diplomatic mission and you do that very soon in their training, and give them real-life situations as to where those offices are located, I think you will see that that won't happen again,'' he said. So he turned to Mexican Consul Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez in Nogales for help in teaching the do's and don'ts of diplomatic relations. It was a natural choice, since Rodriguez Hernandez and fellow Mexican officials already were giving Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona sensitivity training. Agents assigned to the Mexican border often come from across the United States, so learning about cultural differences is vital. The goal of the training is to help reduce allegations and complaints of human rights violations, Sanders said. 1997 Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Some material 1997 The Associated Press




Border Patrol Agents Arrest 58 Suspects, Unprofessionally Degrading Foreigners and Harrassing Citizens and Legal Residents in the Process

By IAN ITH Staff Writer MOUNT VERNON -- Two dozen U.S. Border Patrol agents swooped down upon a pumpkin farm outside Mount Vernon yesterday morning and arrested 58 suspected illegal immigrants. But the owners of North Fork Farms and advocates for migrant workers say the Border Patrol is up to its old tricks -- racism, bullying and violence. "This is completely unacceptable," said Hollis Pfitsch, a coordinator for the Seattle-based Washington Alliance for Immigrant and Refugee Justice. "Law enforcement is one thing. Abuse of power is something else." Agents used an aircraft and a search warrant to descend on the farm, at 1427 Kamb Road, onlookers said. Agents rounded up 41 men and 17 women suspected of having improper work documents. Six of the suspects were arrested at a leek farm next door. Border Patrol officials didn't return telephone messages this morning. Standard practice calls for the workers to be taken to a holding facility in Seattle. There, they may request a court hearing or agree to be deported right away. The owner of the farm, Michelle Youngquist, couldn't be reached to comment this morning. In a written statement, however, she said she was not aware that any of her workers were undocumented. She said she witnessed no abuse but heard about it later. Meanwhile, advocates for the workers were crying foul this morning. Agents roughed up several workers during the arrest and dehumanized the rest, said Pfitsch. She said she has written statements from several witnesses. At least one worker was thrown against the side of a Border Patrol van so hard the vehicle shook, Pfitsch said. Another witness, Hugo Torres, said he saw an agent grab the breasts and buttocks of female workers. "When I told him that he wasn't supposed to be doing that, he started to question me," wrote Torres, a worker at the farm. "When he realized I was a U.S. citizen, he got a shocked look on his face and then would not look me in the eyes." Bob Ekblad, director of Burlington's Skagit Valley Hispanic Ministries, said this is not the first time the Border Patrol has been accused of abuse. "It's sort of ironic that as soon as the major harvests end, the Border Patrol makes their big raids," Ekblad said. "These people are the few people who will do this kind of work, pick leeks in the mud, and the thanks we give them is to rally them up and deport them." This latest raid is but one in a string of recent Border Patrol roundups in Skagit County that have raised the ire of employers and advocates for migrant farm workers. Last October, the owners at El Gitano restaurant in downtown Burlington complained that half a dozen plain-clothed Border Patrol agents roughed up several workers before carting off a busboy with improper documentation. The rest of the workers were legal. A month earlier, Border Patrol agents raided the Crystal Ocean Seafoods plant in Burlington and used buses to haul off 61 workers. Witnesses said the agents tackled and manhandled the frightened workers. Agents were also accused of tearing a newborn baby from the mother's arms. "It creates a climate of fear," Pfitsch said. "It extends beyond specific abuses to an atmosphere where people feel afraid, whether they're undocumented or here legally." The Border Patrol is also accused of stopping and questioning people simply because of the color of their skin, Pfitsch said. "We call it Walking While Latino," she said. Pfitsch said her organization plans on pursuing complaints with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, which oversees the Border Patrol. Meanwhile, she said, they are hoping that the public might share their outrage at the Border Patrol's behavior. "Migrant workers are from countries where authority is more oppressive," she said. "It's starting to seem like our law enforcement is looking a lot like those countries." Copyright 1997 by Skagit Valley Herald. Questions or comments, send e-mail to the Webmaster




Amnesty International Condemns the United States Border Patrol

May 20, 1998 Web posted at: 3:51 a.m. EDT (0751 GMT) MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Amnesty International issued a broad condemnation of the U.S. Border Patrol on Tuesday, saying detainees -- including U.S. citizens -- are beaten, raped and mistreated. The report, based on an investigation conducted in September 1997, did not try to quantify the problem, saying only that numerous cases indicated that agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service believed themselves to be above the law. "There is credible evidence that persons detained by the INS have been subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including beatings, sexual assault, denial of medical attention, and denial of food, water and warmth for long periods," Amnesty said in the report, scheduled to be released in the United States on Wednesday. In Washington, INS spokesman Russ Bergeron said the agency had already asked the Justice Department to look into accusations raised by Amnesty in its report, an action he said "clearly demonstrates that we are responsive." "The commissioner (INS chief Doris Meisner) emphasizes that the record of the Immigration Service and the Border Patrol clearly demonstrates that allegations of human civil rights abuses are rare occurrences, but she further emphasizes even one incident of that nature is too many," Bergeron said. The London-based human rights group, however, detailed many instances in which it said human rights were violated. It said that despite pledges by the Border Patrol to institute an efficient complaints process, many detention centers were not equipped with the proper forms for detainees to file complaints. Goal is to generate some public pressure on INS As the number of border patrol agents rises quickly, Amnesty said, the risk of institutional violations of human rights will increase. The group noted that the number of agents who handle complaints has not risen as fast as the number of agents in general. Only 1 percent of complaints lead to prosecution, Javier Zuniga, director of Amnesty's Americas Regional program, said at a news conference. He said the goal of Amnesty's report is to generate public pressure on the Immigration and Naturalization Service to better investigate complaints by detainees. The investigation was carried out by an Amnesty investigator from London, who traveled from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas, in September 1997, a trip of about 3,000 miles. She interviewed human rights groups, lawyers, immigrant advocacy groups and Border Patrol officials along the way, Zuniga said. The president of Amnesty's Mexico office, Agnieszka Raczynska, said the report was the first in a series that will be presented through October on human rights violations in the United States, a country she said Amnesty often was accused of not condemning forcefully enough. Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org




State Auditor Confirms "PATIENT DUMPING" by Border Patrol

Supervisor Jacob Calls Policy A Cruel Joke San Diego -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob today called the Border Patrol policy of "Patient Dumping" a cruel joke, after receiving confirmation of the unofficial policy in a report from the California State Auditor. The report confirmed that the Border Patrol's policy is to pay health care providers for emergency medical treatment only to illegal aliens in its custody. However, its policy is generally not to take custody of those needing medical treatment. The report further confirmed that agents generally do not take custody of the injured following medical care, thereby allowing the injured to avoid capture. Jacob, who is a longtime opponent of the unofficial practice by the Border Patrol, said the report confirmed her suspicions. "What the Federal government is trying to pull off is a cruel joke upon the taxpaying citizens of San Diego County! Valuable services are being devoured by illegal aliens, and locals are footing the bill," she said. "It's not enough that the President has failed to enforce the Border, rather moving illegal alien and drug traffic to East County. Apparently, Washington believes local residents and emergency providers should pay for that failure!" The report, titled "U.S. Border Patrol: Its Policies Cause San Diego County Health Care Providers To Incur Millions of Dollars in Unreimbursed Medical Care", was released yesterday. It estimated the cost of medical services to illegal immigrants in cases involving the Border Patrol or as a result of Border Patrol activities at $4.9 to $8.1 million for 17 months in San Diego County.




Drug Runners Freed Regularly on Border

Los Angeles Times SAN DIEGO -- During the federal government's yearlong narcotics crackdown along the Southwest border, hundreds of suspected smugglers have been allowed to go free after U.S. authorities arrested them with substantial quantities of drugs at ports of entry in California. In the past year, about 2,300 suspected traffickers were taken into custody for bringing drugs across the border but, according to records and interviews, more than one in four were simply sent home to Mexico because of jail overcrowding and prosecutorial discretion. Two suspects with 32 pounds of methamphetamine, and another with 37,000 Quaalude tablets, were simply "excluded" from the United States after their drugs and vehicles were confiscated. The handling of drug cases at the border, most involving at least 50 pounds of marijuana, reflects shifting and sometimes conflicting pressures on the federal law-enforcement community. The threshold for prosecutions, drug agents say, has risen as the government has stepped up narcotics interdiction at border crossings and made more seizures. In addition, they say there often is no room for drug suspects at the federal jail here because it is overflowing with people awaiting trial on immigration-law violations and other charges. After a seizure of 158 pounds of cocaine, one defendant was cited and released because there was no room at the federal jail, said the woman's attorney. The charges against her were later dropped, the attorney added. Officials at the U.S. attorney's office confirm that, under a program quietly adopted two years ago, an increasing number of suspected traffickers have been sent back to Mexico without arrest or prosecution in either federal or state court. Instead, they are prohibited from returning to this country, pending an immigration hearing. Government figures show that more than 1,000 smuggling suspects have been processed this way since 1994 after seizures by the U.S. Customs Service and the Border Patrol. The number of such cases rose from 215 in 1994 to 636 last year at San Ysidro, Tecate and Otay Mesa. There were 288 cases in the first four months of 1996 -- and officials project the total will reach more than 800 for the year. "This is, in our opinion, a powerful prosecutorial tool," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kramer said in an interview. "Immigration exclusion cases principally involve first-time offenders who face the sanction of losing permanent residency in the United States or their border crossing cards." Justice Department and U.S. Customs Service officials have reported unprecedented drug seizures in the first year of Operation Hard Line, a anti-drug program along the entire border with Mexico. Last year, they said, total drug seizures from vehicles, cargo containers and pedestrians at all ports were up 25 percent over the previous year. "Generally, prosecution is deferred if the amount is below 125 pounds or if the defendant is a Mexican citizen or if, in the opinion of the prosecutor, it's not a strong case," said Jeff Casey, customs deputy special agent in charge in San Diego. U.S. Customs Service records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times show that some smugglers have been caught two or more times --even in the same week -- yet still were not jailed or prosecuted. In addition, no action was taken against a number of suspected smugglers captured with more than 125 pounds of marijuana.





More Ugly Stories: Part Two

There are just too many for one page!!!

More Ugly Stories: Part Three

Yes, yes, yes! I am still receiving more tales of illegal and abusive acts!!!

A Closer Look Inside the Ugly Border Patrol

See what current and former Border Patrol Agents are spilling the frijoles about!

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