I started writing this post a few years ago after the ACLU of Arizona first released it’s Record of Abuse investigative report regarding U.S. Border Patrol interior enforcement operations in the Tucson and Yuma sectors. I let the article get away from me at the time but recent events have brought me back to it.
In a 3 to 2 vote earlier this month, the Pima County Board of Supervisors opted to reject $1.4 million dollars in federal funds associated with the Operation Stonegarden grant program for the first time since the Pima County Sheriff’s Dept. began participating in the program sometime around 2012-2013:
If there’s one thing people can agree on regarding CBP (Customs & Border Protection), it’s that the agency routinely operates over the line. To illustrate this fact, Rachael Maddux of the Virginia Quarterly Review recently published a wide ranging article on CBP operations inside the country. The article is available online at:
For the article, Checkpoint USA was interviewed back in the summer of 2017 & briefly mentioned in the piece. The article is worth the read and should cover several topics of interest to readers of this blog. Some of those topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A discussion on CBP’s legal authority to operate inside the country along with some of the history associated with that authority
- A recent seizure of domestic plane travelers by CBP agents at New York’s JFK airport
- The ACLU’s 100 Mile Zone and recent publications such as, “Record of Abuse: Lawlessness and Impunity in Border Patrol’s Interior Enforcement Operations”
- Ambiguity in CBP’s interior enforcement operations including the lack of adequate record keeping
- CBP’s fight against transparency in its interior operations
- The author’s personal interior checkpoint experience
- Several other recent instances of CBP abuse and overreach
[Information above made available by the Center For Investigative Reporting]
In 2008, CBP agent Abel Canales was observed & documented by gov’t investigators accepting bribes to allow truck loads of illegal narcotics and aliens through the Tucson Sector I-19 checkpoint. For some inexplicable reason however, Canales was allowed to continue operating in the field for over three years until he was finally indicted in 2011. In 2012, Canales plead guilty to a single charge of bribery.
During the three years in which a fully armed & corrupt Canales was allowed to continue working in the field, interacting with an unsuspecting public in a position of power and influence, Canales managed to dig his hole even deeper by shooting and injuring for life an unarmed illegal immigrant in 2010.
The video above depicts Border Patrol agent Michael Flanders acknowledging the right of individuals to not answer questions while being seized at internal Border Patrol roadblocks. For daring to do his duty in a professional, friendly and lawful manner, Agent Flanders is now facing termination from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
I initially wrote about Agent Flanders back in March of 2014. I hadn’t heard much more about him since then however until this most recent video. As part of the video posting, Agent Flanders also provided the following description:
Over the years, I’ve written quite a few stories regarding rampant misconduct and corruption within the Border Patrol. See the following for starters:
- ‘Customs & Border Protection’ Corruption Rampant
- More Reports of Widespread Border Patrol Corruption
- Primary Purpose of DHS Checkpoints Revealed
- Border Patrol Agent Speaks Out Against Unlawful Checkpoint Operations
- Mom & Kids Terrorized By Knife-Wielding Border Patrol Agent in Southern Arizona
But after reading through a recent investigative report from Politico, even I’m somewhat surprised at just how bad the corruption is within the Border Patrol along with the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to reign the agency in. See:
After pledging his allegiance to the United States flag, a Border Patrol agent approaches a news crew with Photography Is Not A Crime that was conducting an interview with a Miami Beach police officer during A Memorial Day event and purposefully strikes the videographer as he walks by.
Kinda says it all about the mentality and quality of the average agent in the Border Patrol these days. If anybody out there can identify the name of the agent who committed this act of battery, feel free to share it here and with PINAC.
[A law bulletin issued to Border Patrol agents in 2012 but largely ignored]
For years it’s been obvious to me that federal Border Patrol agents are operating well outside the law at internal Border Patrol checkpoints and via roving patrol. Indeed, my Roadblock Revelations blog and videos have been largely dedicated to exposing this lawlessness through first hand experiences and research that I’ve been slowly piecing together and sharing online. I’ve also submitted quite a few FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests over the years regarding official USCBP policies and procedures. The purpose being to compare the way agents are actually conducting roadblock operations to how they’re supposed to be conducted according to official agency policy.
All of my FOIA requests have resulted in the Border Patrol further violating the law by either refusing to respond at all or failing to provide any sort of meaningful reply (the most recent examples of this will be posted in the near future). The reason for this has also been obvious to me over the years. Border Patrol top brass & supervisors know their agents are violating the law while operating outside agency policy but don’t want irrefutable evidence of this fact to see the light of day.
[Supervising Agent Rosalinda Huey & two of her minions harassing roadblock monitors near Arivaca, AZ in March 2014]
After two years of letter writing and petitioning got them no where (something I’m quite familiar with), the organization decided to take a more active role and gather the data they were seeking by directly monitoring checkpoint operations themselves. Quite expectantly, the Border Patrol responded by harassing the monitors, illegally threatening them & illegally interfering with their first amendment protected activities.
Rampant illegal actions by Border Patrol agents stationed in border states around the country has been the norm for quite some time now. The problem has only grown in recent years as the agency continues to expand at an alarming rate with few, if any, checks and balances. As such, it’s good to see the ACLU finally taking an active roll in seeking accountability for such illegal acts at internal checkpoints and by roving patrols.
What never ceases to amaze me however is despite the increased scrutiny of the Border Patrol in general, just how many Border Patrol agents there are who couldn’t care less while continuing to violate the law. This of course only serves to show just how arrogant the agency is and unaccountable its agents are.