FBI questions brothers in death of border patrol agent
FBI agents investigating the mysterious incident that left one border patrol agent seriously injured and another dead are questioning two brothers in connection with the case.
Agents Rogelio “Roger” Martinez and Stephen Garland on Nov. 18 were found injured at the bottom of a culvert along Interstate 10, just a few miles east of Van Horn, Texas. Martinez suffered from broken bones and a head injury and later died at an El Paso hospital.
Garland — who said he does not remember the evening of the incident — was left seriously injured. Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Border patrol said in a statement the pair were “responding to activity” at the time.
The FBI has said it’s treating the border patrol agent’s death as a “potential attack,” though President Trump was quick to dub it as such and use the incident to support his call for a wall on the Mexican border.
Investigators recently closed in on Antonio and Daniel Munoz after a tip from a “coyote” — or someone who smuggles people into the United States — alleging the pair recently crossed into the country with a large group and admitted to attacking the agents with rocks, according to court documents obtained by the Dallas Morning News.
Authorities questioned the brothers, who have not been named as suspects or charged in the attack, and eventually found red-stained fabric in a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am the men had been traveling in.
President Trump used the alleged attack to support his call for a wall on the Mexico-United States border.
A woman who was reportedly traveling with them told investigators she also heard Antonio Munoz speak about crossing into the United States with drugs “including methamphetamine and heroin.”
The documents filed in New Mexico federal court additionally state Antonio, who is in custody for allegedly crossing the border illegally, was likely a “drug courier.”
Both men have denied involvement in Martinez’s death, but the FBI refers to them as “the likely perpetrators in the attack” in the new court filing.
Jeanette Harper, a spokeswoman for the FBI in El Paso, told the Washington Post that investigators “are still in the beginning stages to see if these people are connected to his incident.”
Law enforcement said they’re still searching for leads in the potential attack and are investigating multiple possibilities behind Martinez’s death — including that the agents were accidentally hit by a semi.