A Border Patrol supervisory agent from the Tucson, Arizona, sector has died in what authorities are calling a “line-of-duty” death.
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz announced the death of Anibal “Tony” A. Perez in a Twitter post last week. According to Fox News, the cause of death was withheld for privacy reasons.
However, Perez reportedly died after contracting COVID-19, according to KVOA-TV in Tucson, citing sources it did not specify.
Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Tucson Sector U.S. Border Patrol Agent Anibal “Tony” A. Perez, who recently died in the line of duty. https://t.co/G8PiRe6z8e
— KVOA News 4 Tucson (@KVOA) November 13, 2021
Sick vandalism at memorial to fallen soldiers: ‘The real heroes are vaccinated!’
The entire USBP family mourns the loss of Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Anibal “Tony” A. Perez. Please keep his family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts. pic.twitter.com/kfC8bLfFRq
— Chief Raul Ortiz (@USBPChief) November 11, 2021
Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agent John R. Maudlin also expressed his sentiments on Twitter.
With a heavy heart, I am sorry to inform you of the death of Tucson Sector Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Anibal “Tony” A. Perez. We will continue to honor their services. #Don’t forget #HonorFirst https://t.co/FZfbZgvBTR
— John R. Modlin (@USBPHiefTCA) November 11, 2021
Perez joined the Border Patrol in June 2006, according to Ortiz.
He is survived by his wife, three children, parents and a sister.
Perez’s disappearance comes at a time when the Border Patrol is struggling with policies coming from the White House.
“Agents have been completely abandoned by this administration,” said recently retired agent Gil Mazza, who maintains a Facebook group for current and retired agents. National analysis in an article in October. “They feel like there’s no one there for them.”
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Mazza said the agency’s image with politicians, the press and the public has been up and down in his 25-year career with the Border Patrol, but, “This is totally different. It’s almost like a perfect storm right now.”
Art Del Cuoto, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, told National Review that agents face unique risks during the coronavirus pandemic.
“You’re seeing this administration release more than a million people into the country without a covid vaccine, in fact, there’s no vaccine in question,” Del Cuoto said.
In response to Perez’s death, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags at half-staff on Saturday at all government buildings.
“The Arizona Border Patrol is mourning the loss of Agent Tony Perez,” Ducey said in a statement on his website.
“He put his life on the line…