Court documents point to possible suspects in border agent's death
A federal search warrant for a vehicle believed to have evidence in connection with the death agent Rogelio Martinez and the assault of his fellow agent indicated that the FBI learned who may be involved behind the incident that happened on Nov. 18 near Van Horn.
An informant told an agent with U.S. Customs and Border Protection he knew of a “coyote” that had recently smuggled a group of people across the U.S. Mexico border. Two of the people in that group identified as brothers spoke about assaulting agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner with rocks, according to the court document.
Agents spoke with one of the brothers in the group that was smuggled in Portales. The other brother who is believed to have been involved may be in Odessa, Texas, according to the document.
The search warrant states that on Nov. 28, agents with the FBI interviewed “brother one” in Portales, New Mexico. According to the document, he denied having any role in Martinez’s death and assault on the second border agent. Brother one’s younger sibling in Portales was also interviewed, stated the doc. He told authorities he didn’t know anything about his older brother’s involvement in the alleged attack, but admitted to investigators he drove a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am on Nov. 20 to Presido, Texas, to pick him (brother one)up; two days after Martinez and his partner were found.
The younger sibling told investigators he picked up his brother in Presido on Nov. 20 and drove to Portales, N.M. Along the way, the car broke down in Tatum, N.M., and he picked it up the next day. He said he knew his brother had entered the U.S. illegally before Nov. 20. He told authorities a woman was also in the car when he drove to pick up his brother in Presido.
The older brother admitted to investigators he entered the states illegally sometime before Nov. 20 and was picked up in Presido by his younger brother, according to court documents.
On Dec. 1, agents spoke with the woman in the car during the trip to Presido. She admitted to agents that she was in the car and she noticed that the older brother appeared “clean cut” and “looked clean” wearing clean clothes, a sweater, hoodie, hat and jeans. She also told investigators she heard the older brother talking on the phone about crossing into the U.S. with methamphetamine and heroin.
She said during their road trip to Portales, the three of them took turns driving, but they made sure she was driving through the checkpoint in Marfa, Texas.
The document states that on Nov. 29, the older brother was taken into custody for illegally reentering into the U.S. Records revealed that he had been deported to Mexico in September 2015. He admitted to to having illegally crossed back in to the U.S. by foot last month.
The investigator stated that the information collected from the interviews gave them reason to believe there would be evidence in the car relating to drug trafficking, the murder of agent Martinez and the assault of his partner.
The document indicated that the FBI will take the car as evidence.
It’s unknown if the second brother possibly involved in the deadly attack has been questioned or taken into custody.
The reward being offered by the FBI for information into the alleged attack increased from $25,000 to $50,000 Monday.