Photo: Arrested Martel Valencia-Cortez
U.S. Border Patrol is announcing the arrest of one of San Diego’s most prolific immigrant smuggler, Martel Valencia-Cortez. Cortez was captured when several illegal border crossers were arrested in Boulevard, California shortly after entering the country illegally.
The undocumented immigrants from Mexico identified Cortez as their foot guide and claimed Cortez was coming through in a couple hours with more undocumented Mexicans. Agents prepared to capture Cortez in nearby Campo, California.
Several hours later Border Patrol encountered 12 Mexicans with Cortez as their guide already having crossed the border illegally. Cortez attempted to escape by jumping in a nearby lake.
He was last spotted in San Diego in December, 2012 after a traffic spot in Alpine, California. He evaded capture even after an intensive manhunt. He has over 30 prior apprehensions by Border Patrol and an extensive criminal record.
Valencia-Cortez was arrested on a prior Federal warrant and will be charged with alien smuggling.