July 31, 2012

FBI investigates Border Patrol Agents accused of Kidnapping Victims along the Rio Grande.

Five Border Patrol Agents are under FBI investigation after a family of four that where violently kidnapped last year came forward stating that they believe that the Agents that helped with their rescue are in fact responsible for the crime. The family was intercepted on Thanksgiving night while they were driving on HWY 100 when a black SUV ran them off the road.  Five masked men proceeded to violently assault the family forcing them out of their vehicle and  into the SUV.  The family explained to investigators that the kidnappers where all males and that they were wearing masks. They blindfolded them and drove them to a remote area where they were beaten and tied up to some brushes for what it seems was several days.  The family was saved when Border Patrol Agents of Vallejo County spotted them during a routine drive and alerted authorities of the discovery.

When asked by the PD and FBI agents why they believed that the Agents were responsible, one family member stated that after the ordeal was over and they were discharged from the Hospital the agents visited them at their home address to check up on them.  It was then when one of the victims recognized one  of the Agents voice as one of the kidnappers.  The family also noticed that the five agents were acting nervous around them and repeatedly asking them if they were able to identify the kidnappers  or give them any piece of information regarding that night.  The youngest of the victims, an 8 year old female suffered a nervous breakdown after the visit stating to investigators that one of the agents was "one of the bad guys that had  hurt her".

FBI agents had already become suspicious because in the past year the same five agents had intervened in stopping two major drugs deals that the FBI was investigating. Efrain  Huerta and accomplice Erick Lucio stated to the PD that the agents had helped them smuggled drugs and ammunition in the past and that they were aware of the drug deal.  Huerta and Lucio also stated that they paid the agents over 75,000 dollars each to help them cross the drugs and that they were surprised that they turned on them and arrested them after getting paid.  Also the FBI questioned the agents regarding as to how they stumbled upon the victims in a remote area that is regularly not patrolled by the Border Patrol.  The FBI and the PD also became weary of the agents after they rescued another couple that had been robbed and left for dead in a remote area of Zapata County again, outside US Customs Jurisdiction.

The Border Patrol Agents were generously rewarded by the Government and the media for the heroic efforts in helping the victims.  It is estimated that each of them received over 2.5 million dollars in anonymous rewards, donations and Government funded rewards.  When asked by the PD how they were able to locate the victims so quickly and how they knew where and how to locate and halt the drug deals they could not give an accurate response and stated that they were just lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

The victims were subjected to polygraph tests and medical evaluations to rule out the possibility that they were suffering from  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after they came forward with new details in the kidnappings. Investigators wanted to be sure that the victims were confident in their testimonies and not under a great deal of stress. Two  Agents were placed under Federal Custody after detectives gathered enough audio and video tape evidence showing they were  planning a third possible kidnapping to be perpetrated later on this month.

  US Customs stated to the media that the five agents were placed on paid suspension and that they are working closely with Vallejo County Officials and the FBI to prove that the charges are fraudulent and that the victims testimony is not accurate because of the time frame of the crimes and because they believed the victims are trying to give a bad name to the US Customs and Border Patrol Agency.  The families involved have since  hired legal representation and are planning to sue the Government and the US Border Patrol for their involvement in the kidnappings and because they firmly believe that the US Customs Agency has enough evidence linking the agents to the crimes but are willingly withholding it to protect their reputation in  this high profile case that has surprised the county.

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