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   Our thoughts and prayers go to the family of James Epling. Epling is the seventh agent from the Border Patrol’s Yuma sector to die in the line of duty in 36 years.  Epling was a father of three, and his wife is expecting another child early next year.
  Please honor and support our own this holiday season. As we send prayers to our soldiers at war, then we must also send support to those who protect our borders in an increasingly tenuous time of national security. Illegally breaching the borders of the United States without entering through an authorized port of entry is no longer an administrative misdemeanor –protecting our borders is a serious business and we need military trained personnel doing the job. Why was agent James Epling chasing a group of Chinese nationals over a mile on the U.S. side of the border when he died?
  “Agent Epling exemplifies the definition of courage, honor and dedication,” said Michael C. Nicley, Yuma sector patrol chief. “He is a true hero, having risked his own life to save others. We honor his courage and sacrifice.”
“There has been a death of a federal agent while he was responding to the commission of a serious felony,” Nicley said. “So, there are some options the FBI is considering.”
  However, according to  Nicley, charges still could be filed against the smuggler agents currently have in custody for his role in the death, in addition to charges of alien smuggling.
  Epling was a father of three whose wife is eight months pregnant with their fourth child. He was less than one year out of the academy and had recently moved his family to Yuma. His family will need our support. For information on what you can do to help the Epling family contact the Yuma sector public affairs office at 928-341-6500.
Thursday, December 25, 2003
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