A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) supervisor was arrested Saturday after he confessed to driving four women to desolate highway areas in and around Laredo, Texas where he was stationed and executing them with a handgun, according to Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz.
According to Buzzfeed, authorities described Juan David Ortiz, a Navy veteran who joined Border Patrol a decade ago, as a “serial killer” who preyed on sex workers he picked up at Laredo- area bus stops and parking lots. His victims included a transgender woman.
Ortiz, 35, was hired after CBP relaxed its hiring standards following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which officials say allowed bad actors to join its ranks, according to the report. He is the second CBP agent from the Laredo sector to be accused of mass murders this year. Another supervisor from the sector, Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles, was arrested in April on two capital murder charges after he was accused of killing his 27-year-old romantic partner and their one-year-old child, according to the Laredo Morning News.
Officials say Ortiz, who is married and has children, shot the victims with a handgun in the head or the face while he was off-duty between September 3 and September 15. One of the bodies was found behind a gravel pit along the highway. Melissa Ramirez and Claudine Ann Luera were among the victims, Buzzfeed reported. The others have not yet been identified.
A fifth victim was able to escape from Ortiz after he stopped his pickup truck at a gas station and pointed his gun at her. Ortiz had driven the woman to a gas station a few blocks away from a CBP facility, and pointed his pistol at her. The victim was subsequently able to escape from his grasp by removing her shirt, at which point. she tracked down a state trooper for assistance.
Ortiz was found hiding out in the bed of his truck in a hotel parking garage, Buzzfeed reported.