Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2009
A Mexican teenager pleaded guilty Friday to fatally shooting a U.S. Border Patrol agent last summer while attempting to rob him of government property in a remote area east of San Diego.
Christian Daniel Castro-Alvarez, 17, and an unspecified number of co-conspirators crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and lured Agent Robert W. Rosas Jr. out of his vehicle while he was on routine patrol, according to the plea agreement filed in federal court in San Diego.
Rosas, 30, was shot multiple times by Castro-Alvarez and one or more co-conspirators. Rosas suffered four gunshot wounds to the head and four more to his neck and torso.
Castro-Alvarez voluntarily surrendered in August to U.S. authorities at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The other suspects remain at large, according to the FBI, the lead U.S. agency on the case.
Castro-Alvarez was part of a group of bandits or smugglers operating out of the nearby Mexican community of Jardines Del Rincon, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation.
The group crossed the border intending to steal Rosas’ night-vision goggles, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the case. Rosas was killed during the ensuing struggle.
The assailants stole Rosas’ radio and weapon, along with his night-vision equipment.