Reward offered in death of Yuma-based agent
The FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are offering up to $350,000 for information leading directly to the location and arrest of the prime suspect in a Yuma-based agent's death.
Jesus Albino Navarro Montes, 22, was the suspected driver of a smuggling vehicle that struck and killed Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar on Jan. 19. Aguilar, 32, was putting down spike strips to stop the vehicle in the Imperial Sand Dunes. The vehicle was fleeing U.S. law enforcement officers at the time.
Navarro Montes was arrested on Jan. 22 in the northern state of Sonora in Mexico and was held at a Mexicali prison for allegedly smuggling migrants.
On June 18, an unidentified judge freed him because there wasn't enough evidence to hold him on charges of human smuggling, according to reports from La Cronica, a Mexicali newspaper.
The newspaper also reported that Navarro Montes wasn't facing any charges in Mexico for Aguilar's death.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol spokesman Ben Vik said the reward is a way to heighten awareness and it shows how serious U.S. authorities are about arresting Navarro Montes.
"We are hoping that anyone who has any information, when they look at this picture and can say, 'I've seen this guy walking down the street and I know where he is at this time' as the poster says, any information leading directly to the arrest," Vik said. "What we are not looking for is hearsay, even though that is appreciated, that's not grounds for giving out the reward."
Navarro Montes is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
He has a small mole under his right eye. The head of an eagle is tattooed on his right shoulder and the face of a Christ on the upper left side of his back. He should be considered armed and dangerous, according to Border Patrol officials.
Anyone with information about Navarro Montes' whereabouts or the death of Agent Aguilar should call the FBI at 1-760-355-0397 or the U.S. Border Patrol at 341-6578.
Stephanie Sanchez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6847.