McAllen, Texas - Border Patrol Agent Anthony Gutierrez of the McAllen, Texas Border Patrol station was awarded the Purple Cross by Acting Chief Patrol Agent Ricardo E. Aguirre today at a ceremony held at the station. The award was established on June 12, 2001, to formally recognize Border Patrol agents who have been seriously wounded in the line of duty as a direct result of a hostile act or armed conflict. Gutierrez was nominated for the award in recognition of his service on the night of Aug. 18, 2009.
While on foot patrol, Gutierrez encountered illicit activity near Peñitas, Texas, and was seriously injured when he was struck by an all-terrain vehicle driven by a suspected scout for drug smugglers. As a result of his injuries Gutierrez was away from work for an extended period of time. Although his recovery continues, he has since returned to work at the McAllen Station.
"Agent Gutierrez is well deserving of this meritorious award," Aguirre said. "Agent Gutierrez demonstrated his determination to keep our communities safe, even when it meant confronting a threat and placing himself in harm's way."
Fewer than 100 Border Patrol Agents have received a Purple Cross since it was established in 2001.
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.