(Photo via U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
A Mexican national caught smuggling 14 illegal aliens into the United States in the San Diego Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border ended up assaulting a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent by hitting him in the face with a rock before fleeing the scene, according to a CBP news release Monday.
As of the latest report, 39-year-old Martel Valencia-Cortez was still at large.
From the news release:
Martel Valencia-Cortez, 39, was allegedly smuggling a group of 14 individuals across the border on foot through wet, sub-40 degree weather along remote, dangerous terrain on Carries Mountain at about 7 p.m. Upon initial encounter, agents reported that Valencia-Cortez immediately fled from the group and ran towards higher ground on the mountain. As the agents gave chase and closed the distance, Valencia-Cortez allegedly hurled a softball-sized rock at the agents, striking an agent in the face. In response, the agent fired multiple rounds from his government-issued handgun at Valencia-Cortez.
The agent who was struck with the rock was treated for facial injuries. As best CBP can tell, Valencia-Cortez escaped without a scratch.
It’s not the first time Valencia-Cortez has had a run-in with CBP. According to the report, he’s been a known human smuggler for nearly two decades, infamous for transporting illegal aliens to the United States since 1997. He’s also known for carrying a gun, and in the past “has resorted to violent and dangerous means to conduct illicit smuggling activity and elude arrest, such as reckless, wrong-way driving along local freeways into oncoming traffic, threatening and brandishing weapons to intimidate smuggled aliens, assaulting agents, and resisting arrest.”
The report also stated that Valencia-Cortez “was recently released from federal custody in September after he was sentenced to three years in prison for alien smuggling in July 2013.”