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07-04-2012, 23:20 #1
3 in custody after ICE/HSI agent shot
Jared Taylor - July 03, 2012 10:09 PM
HARGILL, TX — Authorities detained three people after a federal agent suffered two gunshot wounds Tuesday in an early-morning attack in a remote corner of eastern Hidalgo County.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Kelton Harrison remained in stable condition at McAllen Medical Center about 4 p.m. Tuesday, about 12 hours after he suffered two gunshot wounds to the abdomen during an attack and chase near Hargill.
A fellow law enforcement agent frantically rushed Harrison from the Hidalgo-Willacy county line to Edinburg, where an ambulance transported him to the hospital after the shooting.
Harrison and at least one other agent were conducting surveillance in a brushy area outside Hargill along Farm-to-Market Road 493 about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, when at least one person confronted the agent, with a firearm in tow.
Law enforcement investigators recovered at least two bullet casings — likely from a 9 mm pistol — at the junction of the two rural highways after sunrise Tuesday.
Three “people of very special interest” had been taken into custody by Tuesday evening, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño said, declining to reveal more details about their roles in the case.
“They could be witnesses, could be participants and that’s what we can say at this point,” he said. “We expect to make an arrest soon and things are developing very quickly.”
The crime scene stretched about four miles along FM 493, from the south side of Hargill to the intersection with Highway 186, where Harrison abandoned his unmarked unit.
It is unclear whether the gunfire continued at the intersection, after Harrison’s vehicle went into in a field behind a stand of mesquite trees along the highway. The unmarked Jeep SUV sat among grazing steers while FBI, ICE, Hidalgo County sheriff’s investigators and other agencies attempted to reconstruct what had transpired after sunrise. The SUV’s rear windshield and front passenger window had both been shot.
A colleague of Harrison called for an ambulance, originally planning on meeting emergency crews in Hargill, only to redirect the rendezvous point to University Drive and Expressway 281 in Edinburg, where the ambulance approached 100 mph down the mostly empty thoroughfare.
The fellow agent’s unmarked SUV trailed closely behind and was joined by several Pharr police units that scrambled to clear the way to McAllen Medical Center.
Harrison has been with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations arm since 2010. ICE continued to investigate the case Tuesday night alongside the FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety and county Sheriff’s Office.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the special agent and his family,” ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda said in a statement.
Harrison’s attack was the first time an ICE agent fell victim to gunfire since May 10, when an off-duty agent in Miami was shot by a gunman along a turnpike.
Helicopters buzzed overhead Tuesday morning as investigators used metal detectors to examine the four-mile stretch of FM 493, from a white house cordoned off at the corner of 11th Street on the southern edge of Hargill, north to the route’s terminus at Highway 186.
Authorities raided a third location, about three miles east of Hargill along 11th Street, believed to be a possible stash house related to the case.
Harrison’s attack appeared to share similarities with an Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputy’s ambush at the hands of suspected Gulf Cartel henchmen in late October, during a kidnapping investigation.
But authorities would not specify Tuesday whether Harrison’s attack has any ties to Mexican cartels or local street gangs. One investigator said the agents’ investigation related to a group of human smugglers and drug traffickers based near Hargill.
07-05-2012, 15:59 #2
Father, son charged in shooting of HSI agent in Texas
Published July 05, 2012
McALLEN, Texas – A father and son were charged Thursday with shooting a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in South Texas, prosecutors said Thursday.
Pedro Alvarado, 41, and his 18-year-old son Arnoldo Alvarado are charged with assault of a federal officer and knowingly using and carrying a firearm during a violent crime. Both are expected to appear before a federal judge Thursday morning. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the assault charge and a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison on the weapons count.
The agent, Kelton Harrison, was shot early Tuesday morning while conducting surveillance on an anticipated drug deal at a property near Hargill, 25 miles northeast of the border town of McAllen. Harrison required surgery but is expected to fully recover.
Arnoldo Alvarado told authorities that his father spotted what he considered a suspicious vehicle and told him and another person "to get the guns," according to a criminal complaint. The third person was a minor who was not named in the complaint and has been turned over to state authorities.
The three got into a car and approached the other vehicle with their lights off. The minor fired six times at the vehicle using a .22-caliber rifle and Arnoldo Alvarado fired twice with a 9-mm handgun, the complaint says.
Harrison then drove away and Pedro Alvarado chased after him, it says. Arnoldo Alvarado continued to fire his handgun at Harrison's vehicle, the complaint says.
Harrison eventually lost control of his car and was discovered, shot and injured, by other agents. Authorities subsequently searched a home in Hargill and arrested the two men and the minor.
Authorities said they also found two illegal immigrants, listed in online records as material witnesses in the case, but did not say if they suspected they were involved in the shooting.
Attorneys were not listed in online records for either Alvarado.