US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep CBP.gov current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Yuma Border Patrol Sector Names New Division Chief

Release Date: 
July 30, 2012

Yuma, Ariz. - Yuma Sector is pleased to announce the promotion of Mario Villarreal to division chief for Operations. Division Chief Villarreal brings some 26 years of knowledge, leadership and field experience to Yuma Border Patrol Sector.

Assuming his new post at the Sector early in July, Villarreal will oversee the operational deployment, tactical and strategic planning of 1,000 agents for one of the most complex Border Patrol Sectors in the country.

Prior to his assignment in Yuma, Villarreal served as an assistant chief patrol agent in Rio Grande Valley Sector and at the Office of Border Patrol in Washington, D.C.

With the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in March 2003, Villarreal established the Border Patrol's Office of Public Affairs within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Headquarters, becoming the first national spokesman for the Border Patrol.

From December 2003 to December 2004, Villarreal served as acting deputy assistant commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Public Affairs, directly supervising 75 employees and managing an annual budget of $7 million. He served as an advisor to the CBP commissioner and was responsible for managing staff media activities at every CBP field office, Border Patrol sector and program nationwide.

Villarreal graduated from the 191st session of the Border Patrol Academy in 1986. During his career, he held many field and headquarters leadership positions, including:

  • Border Patrol Agent, Campo, Calif., 1986 - 1993
  • Senior Patrol Agent, Campo, Calif., 1993 - 1994
  • Supervisory Border Patrol Agent, Chula Vista, Calif., 1994 - 2000
  • Field Operations Supervisor, Campo, Calif., 2000 - 2003
  • Acting Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge, Campo, Calif., 2001
  • Assistant Chief Patrol Agent, Office of Border Patrol, Washington, D.C., 2003 - 2006
  • Assistant Chief Patrol Agent (detailed), Yuma, Ariz., 2005 - 2006
  • Assistant Chief Patrol Agent RGV Sector, Edinburg, Texas, 2006 - 2012
  • Acting Associate Chief (detailed), Washington, D.C., 2010
  • Acting Division Chief - Operations, RGV Sector, Edinburg, Texas, 2011

Before pursuing a career in law enforcement, Villarreal attended Texas Southmost College and Pan American University. He is a graduate of the Command Leadership Academy and George Washington University's Senior Leader Program.

Villarreal was born and raised in Chicago. He and his wife have a son and a daughter.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017