Thursday, March 25, 2010
A U.S. Border Patrol agent killed in the line of duty in East County last year will posthumously receive the highest honor possible for an agent for acts of bravery or heroism, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today.
Robert Rosas, a 30-year-old father of two, was killed eight months ago while patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border near Campo.
His widow and two small children will be given the Newton-Azrak Award at ceremonies at the agency's Washington headquarters Friday morning. It will be awarded by the acting chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, Michael J. Fisher, and acting assistant commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, David Aguilar.
Last summer, Rosas was killed by Christian Daniel Castro-Alvarez, 17, who admitted he lured Rosas from his vehicle with the intention of robbing him, and wound up shooting the agent multiple times during a struggle. Castro-Alvarez pleaded guilty to murdering the agent in November.
"Without a shred of doubt, Agent Rosas answered the call of duty by selflessly dedicating his life to protect out nation. His courageous sacrifice is clearly reflected by this tremendous honor," said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Richard Barlow of the U.S. Border Patrol's San Diego sector.
The Newton-Azrak Award is named after Border Patrol Inspectors Theodore L. Newton, Jr. and George G. Azrak. The two men were killed by a group of drug smugglers in June 1967 in Oak Grove, Calif.
Mark Gomes, a San Diego native, will also be honored Friday with an Excellence in Mission Support Award.
Gomes, an area service manager, helped implement a system to identify people, called e3 Processing, which was described as the agency's newest and most advanced law enforcement system.
Gomes graduated from Mount Carmel High School in 1981, and San Diego State in 1987.