Statement by Victor Velazquez, Acting Chief Patrol Agent, Big Bend Sector
I want to first thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation and especially Special Agent- In-Charge Emmerson Buie for inviting me here to speak to you today.
This has been a sad week for our nation, for the CBP family, and specifically for the Agents of the U.S. Border Patrol. Our Big Bend Sector family is in mourning after we lost one of our own, Agent Rogelio Martinez.
Rogelio was 36-years old, and was assigned to the Van Horn, Texas, Station. He entered on duty with the U.S. Border Patrol on August 12, 2013, as a member of Academy Class 1018. The death of Rogelio marks the 125th U.S. Border Patrol Agent to have died in the line of duty.
Agent Martinez is survived by his parents, Jose and Elvia; his brothers, Enrique and Miguel; his son, Sergio; his fiancée, Angie Ochoa; three step-children, Abby, Arianna and Alex; and numerous nieces and nephews. Agent Martinez’s hometown was here in El Paso.
Another Agent is currently hospitalized, and is in critical but stable condition after being injured during this incident.
It’s times like these that are the hardest for all the men and women of the Border Patrol. It is always hard when you lose a young and dedicated agent.
The job of the Border Patrol is inherently dangerous. Our men and women deal with the constant presence of the unknown; ranging from those seeking illegal entry into the U.S… smugglers of human cargo and/or drugs… trans-national crime organizations and dangerous terrain, but there’s always a constant, the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol protecting our borders.
It is imperative that we remain strong and unified as our law enforcement community works together to do our job and help protect our country with combined resources of training, intelligence and the power of investigation. I believe these virtues will help us understand the circumstances that took Agent Martinez’ life.
Our law enforcement partners at the local, state and federal level are also standing by to do their part to support us, and assist with the investigation. As you know, the FBI’s Field Office in El Paso is heading up the investigation, and we will continue to work with them to learn more about this tragic incident.
I want to thank the members of our community and the American people for their kind words during this period – it means a lot. Please join me in offering condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they cope with this loss.
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.