Shortly after I posted Camp Lone Star – More like Wonderland, K. C. Massey provided me with his analysis of the Response by the government to his motions for suppressing evidence and dismissal. I have made minor edits for clarification. Otherwise, these are Massey’s own evaluation of the Response.
In all fairness, if anybody from the government side wants to rebut, or refute, either Massey’s or my post, I will be happy to accommodate them.
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BP agent, Marcos Gonzales, was pursuing a group of illegal aliens when he encountered an armed Foerster in heavy brush. BP agent Gonzales perceived Foerster as an armed and immediate threat when Forester pointed the weapon he was carrying at Gonzales who was emerging from the brush. Gonzales fired four or five shots which did not strike Foerster. Foerster was armed with 7.62X39mm pistol which contained a vertical fore grip and was slung around his neck. The shots were fired at approximately 3:45 P.M.
This is UNTRUE. We had been to only 3 crossing sites when we encountered the dismounted BP approximating the time to be no later than 3:00p approx 15 minutes into the assistance of the BP the shots rang out. Making the shooting closer to 3:15. The firearms audit investigation did not determine whether it was 4 or 5 shots. The original reports as issued by Border Patrol information officer Zamora to the press August 29th NEVER stated Foerster “Pointed” his weapon at the Agent, only he turned with it in his hands. How do you “Sling” a pistol around your neck? What is the point of mentioning what Foerster did or possessed have to do with me who was not at the scene? I also posted my account of the incident at https://www.facebook.com/kevin.kc.massey/posts/839070526105377 on Aug 30, 2014. That is my recount of the story, written just after it happened.
Senior Border Patrol agent Danny Cantu was nearby, heard the shots and secured the scene for investigation by Federal and/or State law enforcement. Cantu was not certain if the shooting was on State or Federal land and contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office. Cantu requested Foerster to accompany him away from the river bank to an open area, “staging area”, approximately 100 yard away.
The staging area was over 200 yards away, and we were asked to move there due to illegals still in the area moving toward our position. He commanded myself and Varner to go to the staging area. Foerster rode on the mule to the interview site with us! We were told since it was private property the Sheriff had to be notified to investigate. Cantu KNEW we were on private property, they called the Game Warden to determine if we had trespassed on federal land prior to the shooting is what the Game Warden stated to me, which he was able to confirm we had not. They said the federal Agents had to investigate since it was a shooting by a federal agent. The picture, below, has the approximate locations of the shooting and interview area, on the right side.
Foerster was angry and wanted to fight BP agent Gonzales. Defendant, Massey, wanted to leave the area.
Foerster was angry because he was just shot AT by a BP Agent after we had been asked to assist the dismounted BP agent and the shooting was unprovoked. I NEVER asked to leave the area, that was the decision of Cantu!!! He said since there were still illegals in the area we needed to move locations. We stated we did not want to “press charges” for the shooting by BP, but BP said they had to conduct an investigation since a federal agent had discharged his firearm.
Cantu told Massey all members of his group must remain until shooting was investigated. Cantu requested that all members of Rusty’s Rangers disarm while the investigation was conducted.
This is another LIE Cantu NEVER requested we “disarm” We voluntarily decided to leave weapons on the mule after we moved to the staging area.
Massey turned over a handgun and rifle which was secured in a Border Patrol vehicle during the investigation. Foerster relinquished the pistol he was carrying and the third member of Rusty’s Rangers relinquished a pistol and a rifle. The weapons were all secured in a Border Patrol vehicle.
Cantu TOOK Foerster’s gun after Gonzalez shot at him which Foerster had laid on the ground. My and Varner’s weapons were left on the mule. It was articulated to us “For officer safety” and due to “Illegals in the area” BP wanted to remove our weapons from the mule along with my GoPro Camera and other personal equipment and “secure” them in the BP vehicle for our “safety”.
During the investigation criminal histories were requested that indicated that Massey and Forester had felony convictions. The pistol carried by Forester was believed to be a prohibited weapon due to the addition of the fore grip. CCSO officials decided to keep possession of the weapons pending further investigation.
The sheriff’s office DID NOT articulate any cause or reason for taking and keeping our arms, even after protest by myself and Varner. We were never given a receipt for the Arms or other equipment they took from the mule. The sheriff took possession of the Arms only 15 minutes or so before we were released from detention.
Massey and Forester were allowed to leave the scene and all officials departed by 7:00 PM.
Again another LIE, we were released from detention at approx 8:15 pm. We were detain nearly 5 hours and were not free to go.
Massey was not provided Miranda warnings during the investigation. Massey was never handcuffed and cooperated in surrendering his weapons and providing statements.
Only after BP and FBI, and HSI and CC Sheriff insisted we make statements even after we stated we (Varner and myself) were NOT witnesses to the shooting and had NO pertinent information. We gave statements under protest. We did not “surrender” the Arms, they insisted for officer safety that they be secured in the BP vehicle.
It was reasonable for BPA Cantu to disarm Massey and tell him he could not leave the area where the shooting occurred. Police are allowed to stop and briefly detain persons for…
“Briefly” is defined as 5 hours?
investigative purposes if the police have a reasonable suspicion supported by articulable facts that criminal activity may be afoot.
We were never informed. “We”, Foerster, Varner or myself, were not under any investigation for ANY crimes. The only criminal activity was the unprovoked shooting at a civilian, that were there at the request and in assistance of the BP.
Texas Penal Code Section 46.02 Unlawfully Carrying Weapons (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not: (1) On the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control
The property was under our control by permission of the conservator for patrol and illegal immigrant deterrence and for cleaning, marking and clearing of illegal crossings. We had permission for 24 hour access to the property in which we routinely camped out on the border.
The CCSO was informed by Border Patrol agents about the shooting and the seizure of weapons. CCSO deputies made the decision to maintain custody of the weapons after it was revealed that Massey had provided Forester a weapon and that Massey and Forester both had criminal histories that included felony convictions.
We were told the weapons were being held for investigation pertaining to the BP shooting, not for any criminal causes relating to us. They confiscated Varner’s weapons and did not return his although he was NOT a felon. The above statement says the weapons were seized, yet earlier statement says they were voluntarily surrendered. Which is it? They had the Arms in the BP vehicle PRIOR to knowing any prior history of Foerster or me.
Statements obtained from Massey were not the product of custodial interrogation. Massey was never handcuffed, placed in a police vehicle or moved away from the staging area.
I was held under protest due to investigation of BP Gonzales illegal discharge of his firearm at Foerster for approx 5 hours. I was in custodial arrest/detention, I was not free to go despite several requests to leave due to my NON involvement and lack of knowledge in the shooting incident and me NOT witnessing anything since I was in a covered position on the river bank at the time of the shooting. Varner and I were over 75 yards away from the shooting through a lot of heavy brush.
Massey was interviewed by an FBI agent for approximately 35-40 minutes. Massy was not arrested and was allowed to leave the area as soon as questioning concluded.
I was questioned by Border Patrol, FBI and Homeland Security and the Sheriff’s office. Questioning lasted approx 30 minutes by each agency. We were not free to go until over an hour after the last “Interview” after approx 5 hours of forced detention.
The questioning took place on the side of a dirt road. Massey was cooperative during questioning and agreed to answer most of the questions asked of him. Massey did not want to provide his social security number and the FBI agent agreed he did not have to provide the number.
Massy and the FBI agent were cordial to one another with Massy indicating he appreciated the need to ask questions because he knew law enforcement officers.
What is the point of the above statement? Notice the misspellings? Why the reference to my social number? If they read the investigation report enough to see I didn’t give up my social security number, what couldn’t they determine the other facts of the case like the firearms audit of the BP agent to determine how many shots were fired?
Massey was not the focal point of the investigation;
Previously they said I was the focal point of an investigation of felon in possession of a firearm in violation of Texas law. Why were the federal agents detaining me for a possible state law violation?
agents were primarily concerned with circumstances surrounding the shooting between Forester and BPA Gonzales. Custody for Miranda purposes requires a greater restraint on freedom than seizure under the fourth amendment. United States v. Cavazos, 668 F.3d 190,193 (5th Cir. 2012). “A suspect is … ‘in custody’ for Miranda purposes when placed under formal arrest or when a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would have understood the situation to constitute a restraint on freedom of movement of the degree which the law associates with formal arrest. United States v. Begivanga, 845 F.2d 593, 596 (5th Cir. 1988).
Again notice the inconsistency of their statement “agents were primarily concerned with Foerster” Yet they took the arms from myself and Varner who were not involved in the shooting in any way, as defined by Blacks Law 8th – Physical Custody; Custody of a person whose freedom is directly controlled or limited. Detention; The act or fact of holding a person in custody; Confinement or compulsory delay. Investigative detention; the holding of a suspect without a formal arrest during the investigation of the suspects participation in a crime. Detention of this kind is constitutional only if probable cause exists. Arrest; 2.The taking or keeping of a person in custody by legal authority. The term “formal arrest” is not defined.
In the instant case Massey was told, By BPA Cantu, to remain in the staging area while the shooting was investigated. Massey was allowed to leave after he was questioned. Massey was never in custody.
I was held against my will and under protest for approx 5 hours. I was not “allowed to leave after questioning” for almost an hour after the last of 4 interviews. I was in custody under arrest although not under restraints. I asked if we were free to go several times, prior to and after each interview. I was held in a “custodial arrest” and I was not free to leave. I was in custody (physical custody) as defined by Blacks Law.