May 16, 2013
An American citizen was arrested apparently for the third time by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the highway checkpoint on Interstate 35, but this time the only thing he was smuggling was attitude.
Cosme Cortez Jr., of Laredo, is in the custody of the federal government and charged with impeding agents from doing their job. (See charging document below)
They contend that when Cortez, 37, pulled up to the checkpoint while driving a tractor-trailer rig, he refused to tell them his citizenship status, and that as he defied agents, his truck was blocking traffic at the checkpoint.
Such checkpoints are permanently located on major roads leading away from the border, and travelers are routinely asked about their citizenship and other matters, such as where they are going. The checkpoints amount to barriers, of sorts, between U.S. border cities and the rest of the nation.
“I don’t have to answer your questions,” Cortez allegedly told agents, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. He was warned he would be arrested if he didn’t answer, agents contend, but he still refused.
And so Cortez, 37, who is from Laredo, stands charged at the federal courthouse there.
The arrest, which was made public Thursday, marked what seems to be the third time Cortez has been arrested at the very same checkpoint.