Border Patrol & Customs

The Criminal Minds of Border Patrol Agents


On May 4, 2021, John Daly III was arrested on charges of being the East Valley Rapist. According to Mesa police, Daly has been tied to “eight cases” of sexual assault between July 1999 and October 2001. Three of the eight cases were linked together by DNA evidence, according to the court records.

Daly had been stationed at the Douglas Border Patrol station from November 1999 until December 2019, when he retired.

Daly is not the only Arizona-based Border Patrol agent arrested on sexual assault charges. In May 2019, Steven Charles Holmes was arrested on charges of assaulting various women. The investigation into Holmes uncovered multiple victims assaulted between January 2012 and January 2019. Homes was charged with three counts on May 21, 2019.

In October 2019, Gloria Chavez was appointed as interim chief of the El Paso Border Patrol sector after the controversy of Trump’s migrant zero tolerance testing done in El Paso was exposed. At the same time, her husband, Gus Zamora, also a Border Patrol Agent, was arrested on charges of assaulting a junior female Border Patrol agent.

Although Zamora had been arrested on the sexual assault charge, Border Patrol officials allowed him to quietly retire even though Zamora was under indictment.

The Dana Ray Thornhill Case

Dana Ray Thornhill was first arrested at the age of 13 for the sexual assault of a younger child. Even with his arrest record, Thornhill was hired by the Border Patrol. Thornhill worked for the Border Patrol for almost 20 years, all while molesting two children, ages 8 to 12. In late 2020, Thornhill pleaded guilty to repeatedly molesting the two children between 1995 and 2007. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Serial Killer Juan David Ortiz

Following his arrest on September 15, 2018, Border Patrol Agent Juan David Ortiz confessed to killing four women over a 12-day period. The women were sex workers according to court filings. Ortiz told the police he was “doing a service” for the community by killing the women. According to court documents, Ortiz used “a government issued pistol with government issued ammunition” to kill the women.

The Border Patrol Child Molester Couple

On December 11, 2019, the Arizona Daily Independent reported on Border Patrol Agent Paul Douglas Adams confession to his Mormon confessors that he was molesting his young daughter. Rather than report him to authorities, the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offered him counseling.

When Adams was arrested in February 2017, he graphically told investigators of the difficulty he had with his recently-born infant daughter in committing his criminal acts. Adams was implicated in abusing his three children for years. The children were between six weeks and 12 years-old when they were abused by their father over a seven-year period.

But Adams didn’t just confess to his church leaders, he also confessed to his wife, Leizza Adams. Leizza Adams was also a Border Patrol agent. In August 2018, Leizza Adams pleaded no contest to child abuse and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. Her husband, Paul Adams committed suicide in December 2017 while awaiting trial on the child molestation charges.

Among the church leaders who knew about the abuse for years included the family’s physician, John Herrod and his wife, both of whom belonged to the church and counseled Paul Adams and his children about the abuse, according to the civil complaint filed against the church filed on December 2020 in Arizona.

Under Donald Trump, the Border Patrol publicly became the enforcement arm of the Trump administration with its controversial deployment during the national riots. A former Border Patrol agent, Jenn Budd, has documented the racist culture within the agency.

Numerous other cases of Board Patrol criminality have been documented over the years. (link)

The prevalence of the culture of racism and the criminality within the ranks of the Border Patrol demonstrates that criminality drives the United States Border Patrol from within.

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