Border Patrol nabs “wanted” dangerous human trafficker

April 18, 2013

Earlier this week San Diego Border Patrol agents, part of the California Corridor Campaign, were working in East County when they apprehended one of San Diego’s most dangerous human smugglers.

Agents monitoring the U.S./Mexico border region observed a smuggling operation in progress. Once they responded to the illegal border crossers, the Border Patrol agents arrested two Mexican nationals.

After the arrest, “the two illegal aliens identified Martel Valencia-Cortez as their foot guide and claimed to be a part of a much larger group of illegal aliens attempting to enter the United States,” according to Mary Beth Caston, Information and Communication Agent for the San Diego Border Patrol.

“A few hours later, agents working in Campo, Calif., encountered 12 Mexican nationals attempting to circumvent a checkpoint located on Interstate 8,” according to Caston. “During the encounter, a male subject, later identified as Martel Valencia-Cortez, jumped into a nearby pond separating him from the group in an attempt to elude arrest.”

Border Patrol responded to the attempted escape, Caston says a struggle “ensued as Cortez attempted to pull one of the agents under water.” Cortez was subsequently apprehended and placed under arrest.

Fortunately, the agent involved in the incident sustained no serious injuries.

San Diego Sector Chief Paul Beeson said, “Martel Valencia-Cortez has been an ongoing threat to the San Diego community. His apprehension on Monday is the conclusion to a long term California Corridor Campaign investigation, and is a tribute to our agent’s tracking and apprehension skills.”

“Cortez is a known foot guide in San Diego Sector’s area of responsibility and the subject of a Federal arrest warrant,” Border Patrol indicated. Cortez is currently in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody and is pending prosecution for alien smuggling, as well as assaulting a Federal agent. The added charges could send Cortez to jail for 10 years and carry a fine of up to $250,000.

To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.

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© Copyright 2013 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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