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CBP acting commissioner addresses arrested agents

A “tarnished badge” is what CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan called it when an agent commits a crime, such as Juan David Ortiz or Ronald Anthony Burgos.
Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 11:10 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - While alleged killer and former Customs and Border Protection agent Juan David Ortiz sat in a jail cell, other agents were arrested on various charges.

He shared his thoughts on the two year anniversary of Ortiz’s arrest as well as the arrests of other agents.

A “tarnished badge” is what CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan called it when an agent commits a crime.

When asked about the alleged killings by Juan David Ortiz, he had this to say:

”When we fail, when we have someone that tarnishes the badge, we need to have that dialogue.”

In addition to being a navy veteran, Juan David Ortiz was with the CBP Laredo sector for 10 years.

That was until Sept. 15, 2018, when he was arrested in connection with four murders and one kidnapping, all of which occurred in a span of less than two weeks.

“Are there bad apples? Heck yeah, there are. And what we need to do is we need to make sure that we increase transparency with the public. We need to have open, honest dialogue,” Morgan said.

Ortiz is not the only former agent arrested on charges of murder in Laredo.

Also in 2018, the bodies of Griselda Hernandez and her one-year-old son Dominick Alexander Hernandez were found near the Rio Grande.

Ronald Anthony Burgos, who was a Border Patrol agent at the time, is accused of killing the two.

Ortiz and Burgos are just two of 269 CBP employees arrested on various charges in 2018.

This is a small number, however, compared to the agency’s 61,000 employees at the time.

CBP does not have updated numbers on its website, but at least two arrests have been made in August, one in McAllen on bribery charges and one in Tucson on suspicions of narcotics trafficking.

”The overwhelming people in law enforcement are here for the right reasons. Their heart’s in the right place,” Morgan said. “They want to be a part of something greater than themselves for the American people, to protect and serve.”

Acting Commissioner Morgan says transparency with the public is key. He says any CBP personnel who commits a crime will be held accountable.

Ortiz pleaded not guilty in January despite prosecutors saying he confessed to the killings.

His trial date has been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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