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Murder of US Border Patrol Agent: Main Suspect ID'd in California Killing

(AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
Police escort alleged smugglers from left to right, Eugenio Quintero, Jose Camacho and Eubidio Quintero during their presentation to the media in Tijuana, July 25, 2009.

CHULA VISTA, California (CBS/AP) Authorities in Mexico have named the man suspected of pulling the trigger in the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent working alone in a remote section of San Diego County.

Agent Robert Rosas, a 30-year-old father of two, was killed Thursday while responding alone to a suspected border incursion near Campo, a town in rugged, arid terrain in southeastern San Diego County. He was shot in the head and body and was dead when other agents arrived, said Keith Slotter, special agent in charge of the FBI's San Diego bureau.

Mexican federal police Sunday announced that the main suspect in the killing is 36-year-old Ernesto Parra Valenzuela, one of five men detained since the killing.

Parra Valenzuela was taken into custody Friday and was reportedly carrying a Border Patrol-issued pistol at the time of his arrest, police in Tecate said.

Four other men suspected of involvement in the killing were detained Saturday on a road near Tecate.

Federal police wouldn't say what role, if any, the other four men may have played in the death but said in a statement that the detentions had been "carried out in support of U.S. government authorities, as a result of the homicide of Border Patrol agent Robert Rosas."

They said at least one of the suspects — alleged immigrant trafficker Jose Eugenio Quintero Ruiz, 49 — had knowledge of the killing.

The statement said Quintero Ruiz identified Parra Valenzuela as "the person who killed the Border Patrol agent."

The other suspects were identified as Quintero Ruiz's brother Jose Eugenio Quintero Ruiz, 49, and taxi drivers Jose Alfredo Camacho, 34, and Antonio Balladares, 57.

  • Edecio Martinez

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