This year, several Border Patrol agents have been arrested for crimes ranging from QAnon conspiracies, to deprivation of civil rights, drug running and the sexual assault of minors. Their arrests show a pattern of a deteriorating federal agency manned by individuals with questionable characters.
QAnon Deranged Border Patrol Agent Threatens to Kill His Supervisor
This month, Alberto Almeida, a border patrol agent, was arrested for threatening to kill his supervisor. According to Fox News, Almedia professed “QAnon conspiracy” theories. The September 28 criminal complaint filed in New Jersey, alleges that starting in February, Almeida began to send threats to his border patrol supervisor. Almeida sent a text message on September 28, threatening “to use the power” of Donald Trump” and the “U.S. military” to punish his supervisor “for his alleged involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a child sex trafficking ring orchestrated by Hillary Clinton,” and others.
QAnon conspiracies have been tied to violent crimes in several cities across the country.
Child Molester Border Patrol Agents
In January, Spencer Allen Cox, a Border Patrol agent was arrested on charges of “soliciting a 16-year-old girl online and exchanging nude photos with her,” according to the San Antonio Express News.
In another case, Border Patrol agent Dana Ray Thornhill was sentenced to 40 years in jail after pleading guilty “to repeatedly molesting” two children between 1995 and 2007. According to the Arizona Daily Report, the children were 8 and 12 at the time they were molested. Cox was being investigated for child pornography, but investigators later learned that he had molested the two children. Cox was a Border Patrol agent for almost 20 years.
Agent Grabs Woman By Neck Forcing Her To Delete Video
The Department of Justice issued a press release on September 17, 2020 announcing the arrest of Adriana Gandarilla, a Border Patrol supervisor. According to the federal press release, Gandarilla “physically forced” a “woman to delete the recording” from her cell phone. The woman was recording the activities of Border Patrol agents “taking place in her residence.”
The press release states that Gandarillia “pushed” the woman “against the front outside wall” of her residence by “grabbing her by her neck and arms.”
Drug Smuggler Agent
On August 10, prosecutors charged Border Patrol agent Carlos Victor Passapera Pinott for drug running cocaine, heroin and fentanyl from the border to Phoenix, according to The Washington Times. Federal agents found $329,000 in cash at his house and another $40,000 in the car he used to smuggle the drugs.
The Arizona Daily reported that Passapera had another $311,000 in a safety deposit box. In addition to the drug charges, Passapera frequently did not show up to work, although he reported working those days. This, according to surveillance reports of his activities.
Agent Charged With Raping Subordinate
According to the Valley Morning Star, in April, Border Patrol agent, Roy Ramirez, Jr. was arrested on charges of “forcing one of his subordinates at work to perform oral sex on him.” Ramirez bonded out of jail shortly after his arrest. Ramirez is awaiting his court date on the charges.
A History of Corruption At The Border Patrol
According to a ProPublica report on June 20, 2019, a 2015 preliminary report noted that “arrests for corruption of CBP personnel far exceed, on a per capita basis, such arrests at other federal law enforcement agencies.”
The analysis showed that corrupt Border Patrol agents outnumber those in other federal agencies.
According to a Politico report from July 15, 2019, “it is virtually impossible to assess the extent of corruption or misconduct in U.S. Customs and Border Protection … because most publicly available information is incomplete or inconsistent.” Politico quoted the CATO Institute for its report.
The Politico article also quotes “a former FBI assistant director who headed the bureau’s criminal division, that at “one CBP meeting he attended in 2012, top agency officials estimated that perhaps as much as 20 percent of CBP’s agent and officer corps needed to be removed from the force.”
In recent days, allegations of forced hysterectomies on detained immigrants and “abducted protestors” by Border Patrol agents, who were protesting police misconduct, have made national headlines.
The Intercept labeled Customs and Border Protection as one of the “most lawless -, with a long history of corruption, neglect, racism, violence, and sexual abuse” among its agents in an October 6 article.
Now, faced with rising national criticism for its rogue activities, Customs and Border Protection has asked the National Archives and Records Administration to approve the destruction of internal CBP documents of misconduct.