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Sinaloa Cartel Link to San Diego Human Smuggler

U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector has discovered that convicted human smuggler Martel Valencia-Cortez, who allegedly assaulted a Border Patrol agent last Sunday night, is allegedly connected to the notorious criminal organization known as the Sinaloa cartel.

Valencia, 39, is believed to have assaulted a Border Patrol agent in the face with a softball-sized rock on Sunday night. U.S. Border Patrol used information from the public to make the connection between Valencia and the Sinaloa cartel–the criminal organization that is headed by an individual known as “El Tigre.” A U.S. Customs and Border Protection release identifies “El Tigre” as a lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel and believed to be responsible for, “controlling numerous illicit cross-border smuggling routes originating between Tijuana and Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.”

Sunday night’s alleged assault occurred in the region around Jacumba. It is believed that Valencia hurled the rock at an agent during a human smuggling attempt.

San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Richard Barlow stated in a CBP release, “The overwhelming response we received from the public has truly been outstanding.  We encourage anyone who has further information about Martel Valencia-Cortez to contact the U.S. Border Patrol.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and follow up on all leads until this individual is in custody.”

A report on Sunday’s event detailed an estimated 14 illegal aliens involved in the smuggling attempt. Valencia is reported to have a long history of violence against law enforcement. The agent fired several shots in response to Valencia’s attack, but the known smuggler in believed to have escaped back across the border.

Valencia is said to be armed and dangerous. He is 5’11’’ tall, approximately 205 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and a tattoo on his right shoulder, according to CBP.

CBP requests that, “Any information regarding Valencia-Cortez can be reported to the San Diego Sector Border Intelligence Center at (619) 216-4180.”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana

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