Border Patrol Agent Dies from Coronavirus Contracted On-Duty

Border Patrol Agent Enrique Rositas Jr
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Enrique Rositas, Jr.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced the death of Border Patrol Agent Enrique Rositas, Jr. from COVID-19. His death is classified as a line-of-duty death, officials reported.

In a Twitter post, Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan announced that Agent Rositas died after 23 years of service to the Border Patrol. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues. He will never be forgotten,” Commissioner Morgan wrote.

Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott added via Twitter that Agent Rositas “died in the line of duty on 7/11 after being hospitalized for COVID-19.” The chief added that Rositas served the Border Patrol and in the United States Air Force for a combined 35 years of public service.

Agent Rositas served as a line officer in the McAllen Station, part of the Rio Grande Valley Sector. The sector is consistently the busiest in the nation in terms of the apprehension of illegal immigrants crossing the border. Officials in the sector told Breitbart Texas that Rositas served his entire career on the border. The official said Rositas was loved and respected by his peers.

“No one had a bad thing to say about Agent Rositas,” the official said. “He did his duty in a professional, kind, and compassionate way and was respected by all of us.”

RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings tweeted that Rositas fought “a courageous battle with COVID-19.” He expressed his condolences to Rositas’ family. He went on to urge everyone to continue practicing social distancing and to follow safety guidelines put in place to slow the deadly disease.

An obituary posted online reports Agent Rositas is survived by his wife, Monica, and two children, Monica and Alan.

Breitbart Texas reached out to CBP and Border Patrol officials to learn more about how Agent Rositas contracted the virus. A response was not immediately available. Other than tweets, the agency has not yet released an official statement.

Officials said they believe this is the first line-of-duty death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent connected to COVID-19. A report from CBP officials stated that seven federal employees died after contracting the COVID-19 virus. The report does not differentiate between line-of-duty or off-duty contracted cases. Nor does it break down the deaths by law enforcement officers versus staff or by law enforcement division.

Two days before the death of Agent Rositas, CBP Office of Field Operations Supervisory Officer Alfonso Murrieta died from complications related to COVID-19, according to a Facebook post by Salute the Blue and a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for funeral expenses. It is not known if this is considered a line-of-duty death at this time.

Officer Murrieta served in the Tucson Port of Entry at the Tucson International Airport in Arizona. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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