Federal authorities on Wednesday said there was no evidence to support the theory that a Border Patrol agent was attacked before he was found bleeding on the side of a Texas highway past year. Cruz, meanwhile, released a statement calling the incident a "stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them".
Rogelio Martinez died from injuries sustained in November a year ago while responding to reports of a late-night incident near Interstate 10 in remote west Texas, about 30 miles from the border with Mexico. Agents in the Border Patrol union say he was assaulted by rock-hurling migrants.
The El Paso FBI office said in its statement that it was assisted by 37 separate offices and two legal attaches, and that two "persons of interest" were determined to have no connection to Martinez's death or Garland's injuries.
An informant familiar with human smugglers told Border Patrol officials that a pair of brothers recently smuggled across the border had admitted to assaulting the agents, according to a warrant later filed to search the brothers' auto in New Mexico. Agent Martinez and his partner were on patrol near Van Horn Texas about 120 miles east of El Paso.
Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carillo, who was one of the first responders on the scene, said at the time that there had been an increase in accidents on the heavily trafficked roadway, with truck drivers swerving out of their lanes because of heavy wind drafts.
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Other buildings slanted at alarming degrees and rescuers used ladders, ropes and cranes to move residents to safety. Five people involved in the construction of the complex were found guilty of negligence and given prison sentences.
"The evidence also shows that the other agent fell approximately 22 feet away from where Agent Martinez fell, landing on his back and sustaining significant injuries to his back and skull", the memo said. "The manner of death is undetermined". "As part of this effort, the FBI has investigated multiple theories, including whether the Border Patrol Agents were ambushed or attacked or whether their injuries were as a result of an accident or any other relevant criminal activity".
The agent later told investigators he had no memory of what occurred because he suffered head injuries.
"To date none of the more than 650 interviews completed, locations searched, or evidence collected and analyzed have produced evidence that would support the existence of a scuffle, altercation, or attack on November 18, 2017", FBI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie said in a statement. The FBI did determine that a Border Patrol dispatcher had spoken to a disoriented Garland, who said that he thought they "ran into a culvert". "Our view hasn't changed".
The F.B.I.'s report, which said agents had interviewed more than 650 people, came one day after the release of Mr. Martinez's autopsy report.
"I mean, I know he saw something", Ochoa told CNN in December. As part of this effort, the FBI has investigated multiple theories, including whether the Border Patrol Agents were ambushed or attacked or whether their injuries were as a result of an accident or any other relevant criminal activity. "I honestly believe they will", he said. Garland may never recall what happened that night, they said.
Art Del Cueto, national spokesman for the union, said Wednesday the FBI's comments were preliminary.