CHULA VISTA, Calif.—The U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector uncovered a major development in the search for a notorious human smuggler who is the key suspect in a recent assault of a Border Patrol agent.
Based on information received from the public, the U.S. Border Patrol discovered that convicted human smuggler Martel Valencia-Cortez, 39, is allegedly associated with a transnational criminal organization headed by an individual known by the moniker of “El Tigre.” Furthermore, the U.S. Border Patrol has identified “El Tigre” as a lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel, purportedly responsible for controlling numerous illicit cross-border smuggling routes originating between Tijuana and Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
The assault allegedly perpetrated by Valencia-Cortez took place last Sunday night in a mountainous area near Jacumba, where he is suspected of hurling a softball-sized rock, striking a Border Patrol agent during a human smuggling attempt.
San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Richard Barlow stated, “The overwhelming response we received from the public has truly been outstanding. We encourage anyone who has further information about Martel Valencia-Cortez to contact the U.S. Border Patrol. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and follow up on all leads until this individual is in custody.”
Valencia-Cortez is described as 5-foot 11-inches tall, 205 pounds, and has black hair, brown eyes, and a tattoo on his right shoulder. He is considered to be armed and dangerous. Any information regarding Valencia-Cortez can be reported to the San Diego Sector Border Intelligence Center at (619) 216-4180.
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.