ProPublica reported on February 24, 2020 that the FBI is investigating the El Paso Border Patrol Union over the disappearance of about half-a-million dollars. As readers may have noted, there has been some controversy over the use of the Border Patrol by the Trump Administration on immigration enforcement. There has also been a documented rise of corruption among the ranks of the Border Patrol in recent months.
According to the ProPublica article, the missing money is from the union’s El Paso branch. Brandon Judd, the head of the National Border Patrol Council, told ProPublica that the “FBI is looking at it.”
The Border Patrol has also been named in the Portland, Oregon controversy involving federal police officers arresting and detaining protesters. In a statement released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency on July 17, 2020, it acknowledges CBP agents detaining a suspect on Oregon. The encounter was caught on tape. According to the CBP, the agents “moved the suspect to a safer location for further questioning,” because they were approached by “a large and violent mob.”
Corruption in El Paso, especially among law enforcement has been ongoing for decades. Over 20 El Paso Police officers were indicted on crimes from petty theft to sexual assault recently. Almost another 20 officers were investigated and some were indicted for abuse of overtime in 2012. These are in addition to other documented cases of police misconduct and several courts of inquiry looking into police abuse.
It should be noted that the investigation into the loss of Border Patrol funds is focused on El Paso and not nationally. The El Paso Politics will continue to follow this case and bring you the latest news as it becomes available.