A massive manhunt for an accused human smuggler who also allegedly assaulted a Border Patrol Agent with a softball sized rock came to a close late last week with his arrest in southern California.
Martel Valencia-Cortez turned himself in to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers late Thursday night after being on the run for several months. Valencia-Cortez allegedly assaulted a Border Patrol agent with a large rock when agents disrupted an alleged human smuggling operation, Breitbart California’s Michelle Moons reported in November 2015. The alleged assault occurred in the region around Jacumba. It is believed that Valencia hurled the rock at an agent during a human smuggling attempt, Moons reported.
Following the assault of the Border Patrol agent, the San Diego Sector of the Border Patrol began a binational media and public outreach campaign to expose the alleged violent human smuggler, a statement from CBP obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed. Law enforcement agencies joined forces to create targeted enforcement operations along the border and various ports of entry in southern California.
Valencia-Cortez allegedly has ties to the highly dangerous Sinaloa drug cartel that operates in western Mexico. Moons reported that he is tied to one of the lieutenants of the Sinaloa Cartel, “El Tigre.”
“It is clear that the relentless effort by Joint Task Force-West partners pressured Martel Valencia-Cortez into a corner, forcing him to surrender to his arrest,” San Diego Sector Chief Richard Barlow said in the CBP statement on Friday. This effort should send a clear message to anyone who would carry out the deplorable act of assaulting a federal agent. I applaud the collective fortitude displayed by all involved Joint Task Force-West components and the government of Mexico for the arrest of this individual.”
The notorious human smuggler has allegedly been engaged in smuggling activities for more than 16 years, the CBP statement revealed. “He has been known to carry a firearm during smuggling attempts and has resorted to violent and dangerous means to conduct illicit smuggling activity and elude arrest, such as reckless, wrong-way driving along local freeways into oncoming traffic, threatening and brandishing weapons to intimidate smuggled aliens, assaulting agents, and resisting arrest,” CBP officials stated.
During the event where Valencia-Cortez allegedly assaulted the Border Patrol agent with a softball sized rock, he was reportedly smuggling fourteen illegal aliens, Moons wrote in her article. Agents responded to the attack, firing several shots at him. He then escaped back into Mexico where he remained in hiding until this week.
Large dangerous rocks are often used by illegal aliens attempting to avoid capture by Border Patrol agents. Often times, these agents are injured, sometimes severely, by these rocks. Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby reported in 2014 about the severity of injuries inflicted by illegal aliens with rocks. Left-of-center media often attempts to downplay the danger to agents by implying the rocks are more like stones or gravel.
Instead, these rocks are often life-threatening weapons capable of inflicting severe injuries or even death.