Parents sue over ambush of ICE agents

Feb. 13, 2013 at 11:45 AM

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The parents of two immigration agents ambushed nearly two years ago in Mexico filed a civil in a U.S. court alleging weapons used came from the United States.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, alleges that Immigrations and Custom Enforcement special agents Jaime J. Zapata was killed and Victor Avila Jr. was injured with firearms originating from gun dealers in the United States, the Harlingen, Texas, Valley Morning Star reported.

"At least three firearms were recovered by Mexican authorities investigating the attack and given to the U.S. government. The firearms used were found to have originated in the United States," the lawsuit said. "ATF [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives] concluded that these firearms were in fact used to shoot agents Zapata and Avila."

Zapata and Avila were ambushed Feb. 15, 2011, by gunmen, thought to be drug cartel members, near Santa Maria del Rio in the northern Mexican state of San Luis Potosi.

Among others, the suit named as defendants the U.S. government, federal agencies, U.S. and Mexican officials and firearms dealers. It alleged the defendants did not abide by policies and regulations on arms exports, safe travel and employee oversight.

The suit also alleged the defendants were involved in gun walking and didn't disclose known dangers involving gun walking, the Morning Star said.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, seeks unspecified damages.

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