Alleged sex crimes of Customs and Border Patrol agents
More than 20 agents over the last six years are accused in disturbing cases involving sexual assault of women and young girls.
Police believe U.S. Border Patrol agent Esteban Manzanares came across three female immigrants walking along the U.S.-Mexico border in March 2014. Instead of taking them into custody, Manzanares raped two of them and attempted to kill them. He took the third immigrant, a teenager and left her in the brush. After his shift he came back and took her to his apartment where he tied her up and raped her repeatedly. Fellow Border Patrol agents became alarmed when the two other women were found severely wounded. They alerted other federal authorities who went to Manzanares’ apartment and knocked on the door. When Manzanares heard the knock he committed suicide. The case remains under investigation by the FBI.
Alejandro Dominguez, a 35-year-old U.S. Border Patrol agent was arrested in November 2014 for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. The girl’s mother contacted the police about her daughter’s contact with a 35-year-old man on Facebook. According to court documents, the criminal investigation showed that Dominguez had been texting the teenager and met her on numerous occasions. Dominguez was recently sentenced to three years in state prison.
U.S. Border Patrol agent Abel Michael Quiroz was arrested in April 2014 for federal child pornography offenses. Quiroz was found by a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations to be exchanging sexually explicit images with a 14-year-old girl. In a plea agreement, Quiroz pled guilty and stated that he knew the girl was 14 years old when he sent her nude pictures of himself. Quiroz was sentenced in April 2015 to 30 months in federal prison.
Armando Gonzalez, a 45-year-old U.S. Border Patrol Supervisor in the San Diego area, was arrested in February 2015 for placing a video camera in the restroom of the Border Patrol station back in July 2013 to spy on his female co-workers. The camera was discovered on January 9, 2015 and court documents indicate the camera captured “images of a white male believed to be Armando Gonzalez…using a screwdriver to install the camera…”
Two fellow female Border Patrol agents subsequently filed restraining orders against Gonzalez. One cited her fear that Gonzalez would “attempt to come after me and physically harm me.” Another noted that Gonzalez had multiple weapons in his home and said on numerous occasions he had inappropriately contacted her outside of work. According to court documents, Gonzalez would text his female co-workers, asking them to change and then record the footage.
On March 26, 2015 Gonzalez was indicted on two counts of lying to federal authorities and 17 counts of voyeurism. He pleaded not guilty. Gonzalez is now on unpaid leave. Prior to last year’s arrest, Gonzalez had a complaint/allegation filed against him. The case was closed without further action in December 2012 after the investigation revealed no wrong-doing. He has been an agent for over 20 years.
Indecency With A Child
Edmundo Palacios, 56, a senior Customs and Border Protection Officer was arrested in April 2013 for inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl. Palacios pleadcd guilty to indecency with a child / sexual contact on July 17, 2014 and was sentenced to 16 years in state prison
Alleged Sex Assault
On March 27, 2015 U.S. Border Patrol agent Jeremy Cole was arrested for sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl in the home of a friend where he was staying overnight. Two weeks later a grand jury indicted him for sexual conduct with a minor. Court documents show Cole had been with the Border Patrol for three and a half years despite having a prior arrest for disorderly conduct. Cole has pleaded not guilty.
Indicted for Child Pornography
Ernesto Padron was indicted for possession of child pornography and attempted to destroy a hard drive that was evidence in the case in October of 2010. In May of 2012 the county prosecutor who was handling the case was indicted himself for racketeering. According to a source who worked in the county prosecutor’s office during the time of the corruption, many cases were ignored. On July 25, 2013, Padron’s case was dismissed citing statute of limitations.
Child Sex Assault
Jose Jalomos, 52, pleaded no contest to assaulting a 14-year-old girl in October 2014 and is now a registered sex offender. CBS News learned that in 1996, while Jalomos was a Border Patrol agent he married a 16-year-old girl. An agency spokesperson revealed that CBP was aware of the marriage and had Internal Affairs investigate it as part of a periodic background re-investigation in 2006. Despite being a registered sex offender, Jalomos was only officially terminated by Customs and Border Protection in early March.
Child Sex Assault
Jason Edward Gamboa, a U.S. Border Patrol agent pleaded no contest in November 2012 to sexually assaulting a child. Gamboa was placed under community supervision for three years.
Prosecutors say in September 2009, U.S. Border Patrol agent Miguel Lerma raped a woman in Los Angeles County, California. The woman reported the rape and police opened an investigation into Lerma. A DNA swab was taken. Then in November 2010, court documents indicate he raped another woman in Orange County, California. Lerma pleaded guilty to charges of rape in both cases and wrote in his guilty plea, “I did use force and violence to commit” the crimes. He was sentenced to six years in state prison.
Alleged Sex Assault
U.S. Border Patrol agent Luis Angel Lozada, 29, was arrested on March 6, 2015 for sexual assault of a child. According to court documents Lozada had been having sex with a 15-year-old girl from July of 2014 through January of 2015. The case will soon be presented to a grand jury, according to the local district attorney.
Sexual Assault & Kidnapping
On October 25, 2012, Luis Hermosillo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted and kidnapped a female Mexican tourist in 2009, according to the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security. The victim told law enforcement that Hermosillo got in her car after a routine traffic stop and told her to drive to a remote location where he raped her in front of her two young children.
Robert Carle, a Supervisory U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer, pleaded guilty in October 2013 to second degree attempted rape. According to a press release on the case, “Carle was arrested on August 10, 2011, when he appeared at a pre-arranged Queens location for what he allegedly believed would be a sexual encounter with the 14-year-old he had been instant messaging.” He was sentenced to 60 days in jail and 10 years probation. He is now a registered sex offender.
Patrick Hamburg, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer, pleaded guilty in May 2011 to sexually assaulting a girl multiple times under the age of 16.
Alleged Sexual Assault
U.S. Border Patrol agent Israel Gutierrez Jr. was indicted in October 2013 for three counts of sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl. Prosecutors say Gutierrez also assaulted a girl younger than 14 years of age between 2012 and 2013. They also point to a previous conviction of driving with a suspended license. Gutierrez has pled not guilty. His trial is scheduled for early May 2015.