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Richard M. Latham

U.S. Customs Service (Prior to CBP)
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Inspector Latham
Inspector Richard M. Latham

Customs Inspector Richard Latham was shot and killed after being abducted from the Del Rio Port of Entry in Del Rio, Texas.

On Friday, January 27th, 1984, four men committed a jewelry robbery in Cuidad Acuna, Mexico, and crossed into the United States at the Del Rio Port of Entry. Inspector Latham inspected the van and located the stolen jewelry, prompting the men to pull out weapons and kidnap him.

His body was found outside of the border city of Eagle Pass, Maverick County, in a ditch about 200 yards off Highway 277 and north of Eagle Pass around noon on Saturday, January 28th, 1984. Latham, wearing his uniform, was handcuffed and had been murdered with his own service weapon. It was determined that Inspector Latham was executed with a shot to his back.

Two of the men hired a taxi to drive them from Eagle Pass to Presidio. State troopers stopped the taxi near Dryden, Terrell County, about 140 miles from Eagle Pass. One of the men surrendered and the other committed suicide by shooting himself with Inspector Latham's .357 magnum pistol.

The other two men were later arrested in Mexico and charged along with the subject who had surrendered. The man who shot Inspector Latham was sentenced to life in prison and the other two were sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Inspector Latham was buried in the Westlawn Cemetery in Del Rio. His grandfather, Inspector James Wallen, was shot and killed near the same port of entry on March 6th, 1923.


Last modified: 
April 25, 2022