Voluntarily Returned to Mexico

Oct 14th, 2008 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Immigration, Politics
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This story’s about a month old, but I like it because it serves as a tidy example of the inanity behind the lack of intelligence in U.S.-Mexico border enforcement.

I dug up the federal search warrant last week during a cursory check of court records, and found this narrative from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Tucson concerning one, Moises Chavez Ramirez.

Chavez is a migrant smuggler sitting in a U.S. prison after having worked this border for nearly a decade. But before he was captured this last time, Chavez was arrested and deported 13 times, sometimes even after agents identified him as a smuggler first.

Last June, Chavez, masquerading as a Jason Rodriguez, and two other men, went into a Tucson dealership and picked up a 2008 Chevrolet pickup, paying out the $24,500 in cash.

Clearly, Chavez was already on the Feds’ radar for migrant smuggling; over the next two months, ICE agents would pop in looking for him, at a small Tucson home with several bungalows making up the property.

Finally, towards the end of July, the Border Patrol’s DISRUPT unit, its investigative arm, moved in, searching the home. They found bank ledgers, law enforcement badges, weapon magazines. Chavez was in custody by now, but telling the Feds he was a smuggled migrant, not a smuggler; that he was being moved to New York for $5,000 he was putting up.

Finally, he broke, the investigator notes in the warrant; crying when he was asked if he was actually a smuggler and a bajador, those highwaymen that rip off the loads of other smugglers.

The ledgers showed that Chavez had smuggled people into the U.S. a total of 32 times between January and May of this year. Previously, and this is really what caught my attention, he had been arrested by Border Patrol 13 times, working under an assumed name, identified correctly each time, noted that he was a migrant smuggler on at least two of those occasions, and then released each and every time.

Take a look at these, drawn straight from the investigator’s own words:

On May 1, 2000, Moises Chavez Ramirez, using the name Mario Chavez Baustista, was arrested by Border Patrol in Columbus, N.M., and voluntarily returned to Mexico.

On May 19, 2001, Moises Chavez Ramirez, using the name Lorenzo Mendez Lopez ,was arrested by Border Patrol five miles southeast of Sasabe, Ariz., and voluntarily returned to Mexico.

On June 14, 2001, Moises Chavez Ramirez, using the name Lorenzo Mendez Lopez, was arrested by Border Patrol about 15 miles northwest of Sasabe, Ariz., and voluntarily returned to Mexico.

On June 19, 2001, Moises Chavez Ramirez, using the name Lorenzo Mendez Lopez, was arrested by Border Patrol. Chavez was one of eleven illegal aliens who were apprehended near the village of Topawa on the Tohono O’odham Nation Reservation. According to Border Patrol reports, Chavez was believed to the smuggler at that time. Chavez was voluntarily returned to Mexico.

On June 23, 2001, Moises Chavez Ramirez, using the name Lorenzo Mendez Lopez, was arrested by Border Patrol about 15 miles northwest of Sasabe, Ariz. and voluntarily returned to Mexico.

On September 20, 2001, Moises Chavez Ramirez, using the name Lorenzo Mendez Lopez, was arrested by the Phoenix Police Department and turned over to Border Patrol. Chavez Ramirez was not convicted and voluntarily returned to Mexico.

On February 18, 2002, Moises Chavez, using the name Pedro Chavez Bautista, was arrested by Border Patrol in Fort Stockton, Texas, on a bus bound for Denver Colorado. Chavez Ramirez was granted a voluntary return to Mexico.

On March 7, 2007, Moises Chavez Ramirez, using his real name, was arrested by Missouri State Highway Patrol after the vehicle, a white 2001 Chevrolet van, was stopped eastbound at Interstate 44 exist 47 for a failure to maintain a single lane. Moises Chavez Ramirez was one of 19 subjects who fled after the highway patrol stopped the vehicle. Chavez was later located at a nearby restaurant. During the interview, Chavez stated that he was the driver when the highway patrol stopped the van. He denied he was a smuggler and stated he was not being paid by anyone to drive. He was then taken to a St. Louis ICE office for processing.

At that time, fingerprint checks revealed that Chavez had twelve prior apprehensions and was previously removed under the alias of Mario Mendez Lopez.

The list goes on, by the end of the day, Chavez had been arrested 13 times and never charged, in each incident simply returned to Mexico, where he’d try again.

For eight years, Chavez moved back and forth across the border before he was popped.

In his final year working, assuming the charges stick this time, he still managed to move loads of people across the line 32 times.

If Chavez is the sort of investigative effort being put forth by the Feds, walls, cameras and towers won’t make a lick of difference. The Feds don’t stand a chance.

6 comments
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  1. Could a US citizen get away with that?

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  2. I think U.S. citizens are getting away with that, they’re just not getting caught, or getting in the papers, at least

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  3. Why the hell is the Border Patrol conducting a search warrant? Last time I checked they didn’t even have the authority to do that, unless someone from ICE writes it for them.

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  4. The majority of the arrests are 6 years before 2007. There is the partial answer. The unspoken word has always been; go easy on them. After all they’re not smuggling drugs, just people. The E-Verify law started Jan of 08. This law reflects the mandate of the people. Also, aren’t first timers supposed to now get 90 days with three squares and a bunk? Is that a deterrent to a desperate person from the third world?
    Of course, there’s always those who just want to visit relatives and friends and can’t get a visa. Not to mention those who want to acribillarnos.

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  5. typical work efforts of the United States Border Patrol, and there are many, many more out there in the same situation. Let’s face it, the good old USA is NOT doing their job……… Maybe it’ll change with the new administration, ha !!!

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  6. If the US Attorney doesn’t take the case then the guy walks. The Border Patrol can only do so much, if they do manage to take the case then the Judge whom the person goes in front of may just slap his hand and get goes back. They just don’t want to apply the law and if they would maybe just maybe it would slow things down.

    [Reply]

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