Border agent assaulted but not injured after apprehending alleged drug smugglers

PRESIDIO COUNTY — A Marfa border agent was assaulted but not injured last week after she arrested three suspected drug smugglers.

The incident happened Friday, January 10, on a remote section of Farm-to-Market Road 170. An agent had just arrested three people for allegedly smuggling over 130 pounds of marijuana when she encountered three other migrants, including a six year old, who were “lost and in distress,” the Big Bend Local 2509 chapter of the National Border Patrol Council stated in a post on social media.

The agent stopped to help the migrants and to “ensure the safety of the child,” the post stated.

It was then that two of the three smugglers attempted to overpower the agent, “by assaulting her, restraining her, and trying to prevent her from drawing her service weapon or calling for assistance with her service radio,” the statement said.

The agent was able to draw her weapon, but the two smugglers escaped into Mexico. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office are investigating the incident, and the National Border Patrol Council says it’s “confident” that the smugglers “will face justice.”

The agent was not injured in the altercation.

In its post, the National Border Patrol Council cited the incident as an example of its dual role as a law enforcement and public safety agency.

“Securing the border is not just about arresting individuals involved in nefarious activities,” the post stated. “It is also about helping those who need to be helped.”

“Often these two duties may come in conflict with one another, as in this particular case,” the post continued.

A local spokesman for Customs and Border Protection declined to offer more information but stressed that federal authorities were investigating the incident.