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CBP Statement: Death in Custody at Eagle Pass, TX

Release Date: 
August 6, 2021

The following statement pertains to an in-custody death that occurred near Eagle Pass, TX, on Monday, August 2, 2021.  This information is based on a preliminary review and may be corrected or updated in the future.  Additional information may also be released by other agencies investigating this incident.

On August 2, 2021, Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) were alerted to the presence of a group of suspected undocumented migrants inside a ranch approximately 17 miles south of Eagle Pass, Texas near Highway 277.  BPAs assigned to the Eagle Pass South (EGS) Border Patrol Station responded and began tracking the group of migrants.  After approximately nine hours of tracking the group, BPAs located and apprehended seven migrants while several other individuals fled.  BPAs continued to search for these individuals.

Shortly thereafter, BPAs apprehended five more migrants, to include a male citizen of El Salvador.  The man was initially handcuffed together with two other migrants using two sets of handcuffs.  The man reportedly became unruly and was causing discomfort to the other two individuals to whom he was attached.  When BPAs removed the handcuffs to separate him from the others, he attempted to escape, running a short distance before being apprehended again by BPAs.  BPAs restrained him with his hands behind his back and placed him on the hood of a nearby Border Patrol vehicle.  BPAs placed two other migrants on the front bumper area of the vehicle and two in the rear of the vehicle and drove back to the location where the first group was apprehended to await a transport vehicle.

Upon arrival at that location, BPAs removed all the migrants from the Border Patrol vehicle to await the transport vehicle; the El Salvadoran man remained restrained.  When the Border Patrol transport vehicle arrived approximately one hour later, BPAs discovered the man was unresponsive.  The BPAs began chest compressions and requested emergency medical services.  When the Eagle Pass Fire Department arrived on the scene, medical personnel determined the man was deceased.

Consistent with agency procedures for reviewing in-custody deaths, CBP OPR immediately responded to the scene, interviewed migrants involved in the incident, and subsequently notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the DHS Office of Inspector General, and the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Department.  The Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office and CBP OPR are reviewing this incident which is under investigation by the Texas Rangers.  CBP is fully cooperating with all agencies reviewing or investigating this incident.

All CBP personnel involved in the incident have been reassigned to non-field enforcement activities, pending the results of the investigation and subsequent actions that may be warranted. Additionally, U.S. Border Patrol has initiated a full review of their transport and detention procedures to assure they are fully compliant with the CBP Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search (TEDS) policy.

Last modified: 
August 6, 2021