FBI Offers $10,000 for Border Patrol Agent’s Gun
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
SAN DIEGO The FBI announced a $10,000 reward today for information leading to the recovery of a slain Border Patrol agent's service pistol, which was stolen after he was gunned down while on duty near the Mexican border in Campo last week.
Robert Rosas Jr.'s .40-caliber Heckler Koch P2000 handgun was missing when fellow federal officers found him mortally wounded Thursday evening along Shockey Truck Trail, just north of the international line.
The agent, who had been with the Border Patrol for three years, died at the scene from gunshot wounds to his head, neck and torso. Rosas, 30, was an El Centro resident and father of an infant daughter and toddler son.
He was tracking a group of suspected illegal immigrants about 9:15 p.m. when he came under fire. Blood evidence at the scene suggested that he managed to wound one of his attackers before collapsing.
FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth declined this afternoon to comment on whether the missing pistol was believed to be the murder weapon.
"A lot of the evidence in this case will be subject to laboratory examination and analysis," he said.
The U.S. government has offered a separate reward of $100,000 for information leading to the capture and conviction of Rosas' killer or killers. The FBI has announced no arrests and named no suspects in the case, even though Baja California officials last week jailed a man they identified as the alleged triggerman in the fatal shooting.
"With respect to events in Mexico, we are in communication with Mexican law enforcement and continue to monitor developments in that matter," Foxworth said.
The alleged gunman, Ernesto Parra Valenzuela, and four members of a smuggling ring were arrested about five hours after the slaying. Valenzuela, 36, allegedly had a 9 mm pistol tucked inside his waistband at the time of his capture.
Mexican police said Valenzuela was fingered as the shooter by one of the alleged smugglers -- Jose Eugenio Quintero Ruiz, 49, who is wanted on suspicion of murder and rape in the United States.
Also arrested were Ruiz's brother, Jose Quintero Ruiz, 43, and two taxi drivers, Jose Alfredo Camacho, 34, and Antonio Valladares, 57.
A sixth possible suspect was taken into custody in Santa Clara County on Friday when a signal from the slain agent's cell phone led them to O'Conner Hospital in San Jose.
Rosas' death was the first fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent since 1998. Last year, an officer with the federal agency was killed in a vehicular assault in Arizona.
A memorial service for Rosas is scheduled for Friday morning in El Centro.