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FBI Investigation Into Death Of Texas Border Patrol Agent Still Open

09 February 2018

On the night of November 18, 2017, in the vicinity of mile marker 151 and approximately 12 miles east of Van Horn, Texas, Border Patrol Agent Martinez and his partner were seriously injured while on-duty and conducting routine checks of culverts in the area. He died in a hospital the following day. Garland also suffered injuries. Martinez was on patrol in the Big Bend Sector when he died in the line of duty. The assertion has been echoed by Texas politicians such as Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen.

The FBI says their evidence shows a Border Patrol dispatcher spoke on the phone with Martinez's partner.

The FBI is offering a reward for information and said that 37 of its field offices were involved in the "top priority" investigation, which included 26 searches in Texas and New Mexico and turned up two "persons of interest" who were found not to be involved, while "several individuals" were arrested on suspicion of an unrelated immigration offence.

"From the beginning we were radioed to assist in the incident as an injury, not an assault", he said.

An official with the NBPC told The Los Angeles Times that after Martinez was injured, another agent called for backup while pursuing suspects.

Martinez had severe head injuries and other wounds such as broken bones.

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Sheriff Oscar Carrillo of Culberson County, where the two officers were injured, was on scene that night. 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. He also theorized that the agent's could have been sideswiped by a passing vehicle. He's said he has no recollection of what happened.

The National Border Patrol Council had called the incident "a brutal attack", but its investigators found no evidence of an ambush.

Martinez would die hours later from head injuries, according to preliminary information from the medical examiner. The FBI reports the only footprints at the scene of the incident belonged to the agents and first responders.

Garland, who was disoriented and unsure of his location on the day of the incident, told the Border Patrol dispatcher he and Martinez were hurt, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

"The second Border Patrol agent also made a statement to the effect of, 'We ran into a culvert, ' 'I ran into a culvert", or 'I think I ran into a culvert, ' " the dispatcher said.

First responders found Martinez first, according to the internal Customs and Border Protection memo. Both agents were found at the bottom of a culvert alongside I-10 near Van Horn the night of November 18th.

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"The height of the culvert to the area above the opening is approximately nine feet", the memo said.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson declined to comment on the case. "Our view hasn't changed".

But an update from the FBI on its investigation complicated the picture. "I honestly believe they will", he said.

"It says that there is no evidence pointing it to being a struggle", Mr. Cabrera said in an interview. "It's just dumb, the physics aren't there".

He pointed to the lack of injuries on the lower part of Martinez's body. "You couldn't make him take anything", Ochoa said.

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FBI Investigation Into Death Of Texas Border Patrol Agent Still Open