YUMA, Ariz. – A small group of Border Patrol agents and friends gathered at the 1151 checkpoint on California State Route 78 near Glamis, California, for a remembrance ceremony honoring Border Patrol Agent Aurelio Esparz Valencia.
Agent Valencia died near Glamis on Jan. 25, 1996. He was working south of Blythe Border Patrol Station’s 1151 checkpoint when he spotted a van he believed to be carrying illegal aliens. While attempting a U-turn to pursue the van, his service vehicle was struck by a southbound vehicle. Agent Valencia died at the scene.
Agent Valencia entered on duty as a Border Patrol agent June 13, 1988, but had previously served as a student aide in the Tucson Sector. Blythe Station was his first and only assignment as an agent. He was 32 years old at the time of his death and had been an agent for more than seven years.
Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Porvaznik, speaking at the ceremony, praised Valencia’s dedication and lamented his loss. “We must never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of a grateful Nation,” said CPA Porvaznik.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.