Monday, December 8, 2014



Note: video at link

Border Patrol agent attacked near Ajo station
By Simone Del Rosario.
CREATED Dec 7, 2014 - UPDATED: Dec 8, 2014 | 11:25 AM

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A Border Patrol agent was attacked Saturday by a Mexican national near Ajo, Ariz.

According to Customs and Border Protection, the agent was responding to a call in his area when he was assaulted and struck in the face near Gu Vo, Ariz.

His attacker is on the loose and the FBI is investigating. They have identified a person of interest as Carlos Manuel Pena-Nieblas, a citizen of Mexico.

CBP told 9OYS the border patrol agent has multiple lacerations to his face and a bone fracture near his eye. He was air-lifted to a Tucson hospital where he got 22 stitches.

9OYS spoke with the local border patrol union president, Art Del Cueto, who visited the agent in the hospital. He said the attacker bashed the agent's head with a rock.

"Definitely shaken up," Del Cueto described of the agent when seeing him in the hospital. "He came close to death; he got severely beaten."

For Border Patrol, the use of deadly force against attackers wielding rocks has been controversial.

"A lot of times people think, 'Oh it's a rock,' and they think it's a pebble or something. But no, these are big chunks," Del Cueto said.

He described the attacker as having the means, opportunity and intent to hurt the agent, and he succeeded.

"Law enforcement officers: They go out there and they put their lives on the line every single day that they go to work. They don't know if they're going to come home to their families."

For this agent, he has since been released from the hospital, but no word yet on if he will make a full recovery.

The search for his attacker is ongoing and CBP welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435.

Incident video courtesy of Steev Hise.


Border Patrol recruiting to hire women as agents
Posted: Dec 08, 2014 8:35 AM MST
Updated: Dec 08, 2014 8:48 AM MST

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - The Border Patrol is recruiting women to be hired as agents to serve in U.S. states bordering Mexico.

The Arizona Daily Star ( reports that Customs and Border Protection sought and obtained an Office of Personnel Management waiver to restrict a 10-day recruitment announcement to women only. The announcement period ends Wednesday.

Only 5 percent of the nearly 21,000 current Border Patrol agents are women. The agency wants its ranks to be more diverse and also faces to screen more females entering the country.

The 10-day recruitment push doesn't specify a number of positions allotted to women but the agency wants to hire 1,600 agents through the current fiscal year.

The number of female border crossers reached nearly 121,000 in the last fiscal year, up 173 percent from 2011.


Note: more consequences

Number of federal inmates at jail reaches zero
The number of federal detainees, like those seen here in a file photo from July 2013, has fallen to zero at the Santa Cruz County jail. That trend has contributed to an ongoing revenue shortfall.

Posted: Friday, December 5, 2014 7:52 am | Updated: 11:37 am, Fri Dec 5, 2014.
By Curt Prendergast
Nogales International | 3 comments

Lagging sales tax revenue and no federal prisoners are further cramping the already tight finances at the county jail.
Temporarily holding federal inmates – generally undocumented immigrants who bring in a daily fee of $65 per inmate – used to net much as $250,000 each month. However, the number of federal inmates has dwindled steadily in the past two years, reaching zero this month.
At the same time, sales tax revenue, which was budgeted at $2.8 million for the current fiscal year, is coming in slower than expected, according to County Finance Director Jennifer St. John.
The jail district's sales tax revenues from July 1 to Nov. 30 were $91,000 less than during the same period in fiscal year 2013-14. That represents an 8-percent decline in collections and 6 percent under what the county budgeted.
By the end of the fiscal year on June 30, "that could potentially be $200,000 if it doesn't pick up," St. John said by phone Friday.
The sales tax revenue is needed to pay down the $44.5 million in bonds issued in 2008 to finance the construction of the jail, which requires $3.2 million in annual debt service.
During budget talks this summer, the County Board of Supervisors cut out a proposed $1.4 million transfer to the jail district to balance the district's books.
Instead, the supervisors allocated $445,000 to make up the difference between the expected $2.8 million in sales tax revenue and the $3.2 million debt service.
On Jan. 1, the jail district will have to make an $883,000 interest payment, but the district only has $640,000 available, St. John said. As a result, the county will have to make up the difference, which leaves only about $200,000 of the amount allotted by the supervisors.
Six months after the Jan. 1 interest payment is made, the district will owe another $883,000 in interest and $1.48 million in principal, for a total of about $2.4 million, she said.
Sales tax revenue and the state-mandated $3 million payment from the county are the two largest revenue streams for the jail district, she said.
With sales tax revenue lagging, the district could burn through the money allotted faster than anticipated, St. John told the county supervisors at their regular meeting Wednesday.
"We do have some concerns that we're already up against that $445,000 that we said we would put to cover the difference," she said.
At Wednesday's meeting, Supervisor Rudy Molera asked if the jail was housing any federal inmates, but County Manager Carlos Rivera said the most recent numbers show no such inmates.
"According to the information I received, it was the decision made by the U.S. Marshal's because of the contracts they have with private prisons," Rivera said.
"They pay a per-bed cost that is fixed, whether they have somebody there or not, and they had some vacant beds that they had to fill so they pulled our prisoners, along with everybody else's across the state," Rivera said.
Supervisor John Maynard asked if the jail had an "adequate number" of detention officers to handle the number of inmates currently at the jail.
"Or are we exceeding that adequate number because we are still holding out hope that we may have federal inmates come in?" he asked.
The state does not require a certain number of officers for adult inmates, but does have such a requirement for juvenile inmates, Rivera said.
Maynard suggested a study session in January or February and Molera added "the sooner the better."
Supervisor Manuel Ruiz did not attend the meeting.
'Slashed' budget
Currently, the 372-bed jail houses about 90 inmates, rising to more than 100 on weekends, said Sheriff Antonio Estrada, who did not attend Wednesday's meeting.
Estrada said by phone Wednesday afternoon he "definitely" would like to hold a study session if cuts to detention staffing are being considered.
The Sheriff's Office budget has been "slashed" by more than $2 million in recent years, he said.
"We can't continue going down that road," he said, adding any more cuts would be "totally unrealistic and unworkable."
Due to the jail's classification system, in which serious criminals are housed separately from petty criminals, the current staffing levels are "nowhere close to the staffing we should have," Estrada said.
The supervisors approved the creation of the jail district in 2005 and voters approved the sales tax to fund the jail construction when the economy was strong, he said.
However, the jail district's sales tax revenues were hit hard by the economic recession and the unanticipated decline in U.S. Marshal's holds, Estrada said. "Nobody could have predicted that," he said.


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