Multiple Offenses: Suspects in Murder of Border Patrol Agent Aren’t Strangers to Crimes

border agent vegaEditor’s Note: Don’t let neo-liberal hear you say that illegal immigrants can be dangerous criminals. They’ll call you a racist and claim that “migrant workers” are all hardworking, law-abiding individuals (who just so happened to break laws to get into this country).

Two illegal immigrants from Mexico who were charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent in front of his family in Texas have been arrested and deported numerous times, police sources told

One suspect has been arrested no fewer than four times for entering the U.S. illegally, according to federal court records. The other has been deported twice after entering the U.S. illegally, sources said.

Gustavo Tijerina, 30, and Ismael Hernandez, 40, were arraigned Tuesday afternoon inside the Willacy County jail library. They were ordered held without bail after being charged with capital murder of a peace officer, attempted murder, and a variety of lesser charges.

The pair, who have been living in Texas illegally, confessed after being interviewed multiple times Monday to killing Border Patrol agent Javier Vega Jr. in front of his wife and two kids and his parents Sunday night while they were fishing in Santa Monica, Sheriff Larry Spence told

They finally confessed to the robbery and indicated they knew they had killed someone, but did not know it was an off-duty Border Patrol agent, Spence said in an interview in his office Tuesday morning.

“They do now,” he said.

When asked how the suspects reacted when they learned the victim was a Border Patrol agent, Spence said, “shock and concern.”

The sheriff said the two suspects were likely connected to cartels or other criminal gangs.

“They claim to have been involved in other incidents, this means you’ve got stolen vehicles going into Mexico,” he said.

“Everything is going to be cartel-related, there’s a connection somehow.

“This is not the first episode of border violence in Willacy County but it’s the first time someone’s been killed,” he said.

Tijerina, who according to records was arrested at least four times between 2007 and 2010 for entering the U.S. illegally, and Hernandez allegedly approached Vega and his family and tried to rob them on Sunday night. When Vega pulled out his weapon, the suspects allegedly shot him in the chest, killing him.Vega’s father was shot in the hip and is recovering at a nearby hospital.

Both Tijerina and Hernandez were arraigned on seven charges: capital murder of a peace officer, attempted murder, four counts each of aggravated robbery and one count of tampering with evidence. When asked by the judge if they wanted to notify the Mexican Consulate and if they wanted attorneys, both said yes. Each also wanted to be allowed to call family members.

At 12:45pm, the first suspect, Tijerina, appeared before Judge George Solis. He wore an orange short-sleeve shirt and pants and black flip flops with silver chains around his ankles. His blood-shot eyes bulged in apparent surprise when the judge told him he faced seven different counts.

Tijerina at several points during his arraignment looked around the room and stared at each person, including this reporter and two others, and the county sheriff.

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