The identities of the two Border Patrol agents killed this morning when their SUV collided with a train have been released. In addition to the release of the agents' identities, it turns out Attorney General Tom Horne was right -- members of the "group" the two agents were following were later busted with weed.
The two agents have been identified as 34-year-old Eduardo Rojas and 39-year-old Hector Clark. Rojas and Clark were tracking a group of what turned out to be drug smugglers near Interstate 8 in Gila Bend when they tried to cross railroad tracks to get into a position north of where other agents were tracking the same group.
Simultaneously, a train hauling about 70 cars traveling roughly 60 miles per hour hit the unmarked SUV in which the agents were riding, killing them both.
This morning, Horne issued a statement regarding the wreck, saying, "These agents were pursuing suspected drug traffickers at the time of the accident and they died doing their job to protect U.S.citizens."
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At the time, it hadn't been determined whether the group was smuggling drugs, or just a group of regular immigrants. As we noted this morning, the suggestion that they were drug traffickers is sexier terminology for immigration hawks than calling them a group of illegal immigrants.
Following Horne's statement, we spoke to Border Patrol Agent Kenneth Quillin who told us he didn't know where Horne had gotten his information and that authorities didn't yet know if the people being pursued by the agents were "drug traffickers." He said all agents knew at that point was that it was a "group" of people.
In our earlier post, we said Horne either knew something Border Patrol agents at the scene didn't or that he'd jumped the gun and was following in the footsteps of Jan Brewer's quest for headless bodies in the Arizona desert and making things up to push his political agenda.
Turns out, Horne apparently knew something Border Patrol agents didn't -- authorities later found the group to be in possession of about 300 pounds of marijuana.