NOT GUILTY: Border Patrol Agent Accused of Shooting Mexican Teen

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Amoroso

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It was an emotional ending for both sides of the divide, as U.S. Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz walked out of an Arizona courtroom on Wednesday a “free-man.”

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The circumstances surrounding the “not guilty” verdict involved the tragic death of 17-year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who was fatally shot as he threw rocks through a border fence from the Mexican side of the divide.

Rodriguez was involved in a drug smuggling operation in 2012, where he assisted drug dealers attempting to get back into Mexico by pelting Swartz and other border agents with rocks as they were attempting to arrest the drug dealers.

Swartz had originally been charged with second-degree murder, however, was found not guilty. Not satisfied with the verdict, prosecutors tried for an “involuntary manslaughter” conviction which also failed.

The Border Patrol agent admits shooting (in self-defense) through the fence after being hit countless times with rocks by the young Mexican thugs.

A mistrial was declared by the judge on Monday, after the jury acquitted Swartz on the “second-degree murder” charge, however hopelessly deadlocked on the lesser charge of “involuntary manslaughter.”

Swartz’s attorney Sean Chapman wrote in an email to The Associated Press, “My client is very relieved. He has had to live with the burden of this case hanging over his head for years. He is glad that it is finally over.”

Adding, “We fully respect the jury’s decision, and we thank every member of the jury for the time and attention given to this trial,” prosecutor Elizabeth Strange said in a statement. “This was a difficult case, and I commend the trial team and law enforcement officers who assisted in the prosecution.”

During the trial, prosecutors acknowledged that Rodriguez and other gang members were throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents, perhaps as a diversionary tactic to distract agents away from the two Mexican drug smugglers attempting to get back into Mexico to avoid arrest.

In August a federal court ruled that Border Patrol agents do not have constitutional immunity from prosecution, regarding cross-border shooting resulting in injury or death.


The jury deliberated almost 18-hours over a 5-day period, in what has become the 1st such case involving a Border Patrol agent using deadly force (after being attacked), across the border.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wallace Heath Kleindienst attempted to portray Swartz during his closing arguments to the jury, as some kind of out of control individual, stating that the border agent “was fed up with being rocked” after being targeted in at least six other attacks.

Kleindienst continued, “It was not about eliminating a threat, because there was no threat. It was about eliminating a human being.”

Defense attorney Sean Chapman responded there was “not a scintilla of evidence” that Swartz was angry or fed up.

Adding the simple reason why Swartz fired was that they were under siege, and he was attempting to protect himself and his fellow agents during a drug operation.

“From his first day in the Border Patrol, it had been ingrained in him that rocks were dangerous,” Chapman said.


16 Comments
  1. Post Author

    Do your realize how many people have been “rocked” to death (literally)? Just read the bible to get an idea.

  2. Post Author

    What would have happened if the boy had a gun ? It would have been bullets instead of rocks !!! The rocks are still considered a projectile and can do bodily harm !! It was self defense people !!!!

  3. Post Author

    Ask Goliath if rocks are dangerous even if a kid is throwing them.

  4. Post Author

    Good for him! That’s a thankless job, so it’s good to hear of a boarder agent being vindicated.

  5. Post Author

    To the Mexican’t criminal scum… Keep your throwing rocks on your side of the border and we’ll keep our lead on our side.

  6. Post Author

    Thank God for justice, They all should be dealth with accordingly.

  7. Post Author

    I would have LOVED for Mr.Kleindienst to OFFER his HEAD for rock throwing practices!!!

  8. Post Author

    How can he be tried twice for the same offense?

  9. Post Author

    Border agent Swartz had every right to fire on his assailants. If a person in mexico was lobbing a grenade over the fence of an international border my guess is that our border agent would have been charged with the same ‘crimes’. Its time we got deadly tuff with this kind of intimidation from mexico and its thugs. What a disgrace to our country to charge one of our border agents for defending himself from a cross-border attack. Shame of the Obama administration, what a mob of treasonists! All liberals in this country should be hung from the border fences with Mexico, they are the true enemies of America. Bring back McCarthyism.

  10. Post Author

    Rocks can kill, they must be able to counter any threat even with lethal force. Time they were given full immunity

  11. Post Author

    Congrats border patrol agent for being exonerated from a murder case against a Hispanic teen ager, who rocked you and intimidated between Mexico and US border. I supported you for the job well done. Keep it up!

  12. Post Author

    East Germany mined a 300 ft strip along its border with West Germany and the world tolerated it for 20 odd years?

  13. Post Author

    I just wondering what was Mr. kleindienst saw ?
    By accusing border patrol agent of “trying to eliminated a human being !
    So for all of Us wearing US uniform with US flag is a monster trying to iliminated a human being so he and his fellow companies are hero of protecting drug dealer or drugs user by any cost or mean ..
    I had a sister and brother in law both is an Attoney
    I haven’t talk nor has any associated with them the day I joint US ARMY they are same ways as you are Mr. kleindienst ..
    I ( We ) took an Oak to protect all Americans and the constitution of United Stated of America .

  14. Post Author

    GOOD for the Agent

  15. Post Author

    I agree with the Border Patrol! They had every right to defend themselves.

  16. Post Author

    I feel it is about time for people to understand just what our Border Patrol has been up agents for the past 15/20 years and take note of the fact that their job is not as cut & dry & safe as most would like to believe, it is a very dangerous & sometimes controversial one, And its just going to get Worse. So they are going to need a lot more backing & understanding in the coming days.

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