Acting Deputy Chief Joel Martinez of the U.S. Border Patrol has been suspended following allegations of misconduct, as reported by the Washington Post on Thursday. Martinez, a 31-year veteran of the agency and native of San Benito, Texas, had previously served as chief of the Laredo Sector along the Rio Grande.

Details regarding the specific nature of the misconduct accusations against Martinez have not been disclosed by agency officials, who cited privacy laws. However, it was clarified that Martinez has not been placed under arrest in connection with the allegations, according to the Washington Post’s report.

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Chief Joel Martinez (x/@bnonews)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson Erin Waters emphasized the agency’s stance on misconduct, stating, “We do not tolerate misconduct within our ranks.” Waters highlighted that whenever allegations of misconduct arise, they are promptly referred for investigation, and the agency fully cooperates with both criminal and administrative inquiries. She further mentioned that federal privacy laws prohibit the discussion of individual cases.

Martinez, who assumed the role of acting deputy chief in January, has a long-standing career within the Border Patrol. His previous positions include leadership roles in the Rio Grande Valley and Big Bend sectors before his tenure as chief of the Laredo Sector.

While specific details about Martinez’s alleged misconduct remain undisclosed, his suspension comes amid heightened scrutiny of U.S. border officials grappling with record numbers of migrants, spurred by a broader global humanitarian crisis.

The U.S. Border Patrol is one of the primary branches of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the country’s largest federal law enforcement agency with over 60,000 officers, agents, and personnel. CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility conducts investigations into alleged misconduct, with hundreds of such investigations completed annually.

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As the investigation into Martinez’s alleged misconduct unfolds, further details may emerge regarding the specific circumstances and implications of the allegations against him.