Border Patrol Reports 7 Migrant Sex Offender Arrests in 1st Week of 2022

A Cotulla Station Border Patrol agent and a Frisco County Constable's Office Precinct 2 deputy place a subject under arrest following a human smuggling pursuit. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo Sector)
File Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo Sector

The Border Patrol reported the arrest of 10 migrants previously convicted of sex offenses in the first six days of the new year. The migrants arrested with previous sex crimes, mostly related to children, occurred in seven of the nine southwest border sectors.

Migrants with previous convictions and formal removals face stiff penalties when caught again. The Border Patrol reported more than 60 such arrests in October and November alone.

On Thursday, Border Patrol agents in Douglas, Arizona, arrested Patricio Caravantes-Salgado. Their investigation revealed Caravantes, a Mexican national, was convicted of felony unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 16 in Orange County, California.

On Wednesday, agents arrested Jose Padilla-Yepez, a 54-year-old Mexican national, near Laredo, Texas. Their investigation revealed an active warrant from Pierce County, Wisconsin. His record included convictions for murder, burglary, sexual assault, and battery. Padilla’s most serious conviction was 2nd degree murder in Texas in 1989.

Also on Wednesday, agents in the Rio Grande Valley arrested a Salvadoran national crossing near Hidalgo, Texas. The migrant was accompanying seven others including an unrelated 7-year-old and her mother. Despite providing agents with an alias, they were able to determine he was Rodrigo Ernesto Quinteros-Mercado.

Quinteros was previously convicted of felony indecency with a child in Houston. Quinteros was formally removed in 2019 after a subsequent arrest for stalking and child abuse. Quinteros is still wanted on charges by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

On Monday, agents assigned to the El Paso Sector reported the arrest of an unnamed Ecuadorian migrant near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The migrant had served 12 years in prison after being convicted for Aggravated Sodomy, Child Molestation, and Rape in Atlanta.

On Sunday, the Border Patrol reported the arrest of Nestor Ramirez-Zarco, a Mexican citizen who entered near Casa Grande, Arizona. Ramirez is a registered sex offender in Will County, Illinois.

In Sullivan City, Texas, also on Sunday, the Border Patrol reported the arrest of Luis Felipe Aguilar-Diaz, a Honduran. Agents determined Aguilar was sentenced to five years confinement for aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old. Aguilar returned to the U.S. seven months after he was removed.

On January 2, agents reported the arrest of an unnamed Honduran migrant near Hidalgo, Texas. According to the Border Patrol, the migrant was previously convicted of burglary and indecency with a child in 1998. The 41-year-old served 145 days of confinement.

Amid the thousands of migrants crossing the southwest border daily, finding those with significant criminal histories is challenging. With the added responsibility of providing humanitarian care for record breaking levels of crossings, routine patrol efforts have been negatively impacted.

A source within Customs and Border Protection, speaking on the condition of anonymity, reports nearly 500,000 migrants were believed to have evaded apprehension in 2021.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

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