An ICE Agent’s Quest for Justice

by Michelle Malkin,

Illegal border crossings are down over 70%
Two of the Mexican gangsters convicted in the horror on Highway 57 between Mexico City and Monterrey were sentenced to double life terms in prison.

Ammoland Shooting SportsU.S.A.-( Victor Avila is a survivor. Soft-spoken but iron-willed, he dedicated his life to law enforcement and to his country. Yet, the feds are now fighting tooth and nail to bury the full truth about the 2011 ambush by Los Zetas drug cartel thugs in Mexico that left him gravely wounded and his partner, special agent Jaime Zapata, dead.

This week, two of the Mexican gangsters convicted in the horror on Highway 57 between Mexico City and Monterrey were sentenced to double life terms in prison.

“HSI Special Agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila were in Mexico to protect and serve our country when they were ambushed by these ruthless criminals, who will now spend the rest of their lives in a prison cell,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco announced on Monday.

“This case serves as a reminder, that if you harm a U.S. agent, the U.S. government will pursue you to the ends of the earth to ensure that you are brought to justice.”

Five others received lesser sentences of 35, 34, 30, 28 and 12 years for murder and attempted murder, which Avila on Tuesday called a “complete and utter disappointment.” As he described in his victim impact statement, “I was shot in three places and had shrapnel and glass imbedded in my body in too many places to count. Not only did I have to undergo multiple surgeries to remove the bullets and shrapnel and stitch together my shredded muscles and skin, but I also had to learn to walk again.”

Avila's wife, who also worked for the government, lost her job. The ICE agent's health care costs and other bills related to the attack's aftermath piled up, leaving the family nearly $200,000 in debt and his wife and two children traumatized. “To this day, the government has not reimbursed my out-of-pocket expenses related to my work injuries,” he told U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth.

Another disgraceful indignity: This week, the feds refused to cover the Avilas' $3,000 in travel and lodging costs from Texas to D.C. for the sentencing hearing, but did provide humanitarian parole for several of the Zetas' family members from Mexico to attend the trial.

Even more disappointing, however, is the callousness of Beltway bureaucrats obstructing the Avilas' and Zapatas' search for answers. The families want to know who ordered the agents to travel through Zetas-infested territory unprotected to pick up equipment from another agent; why their superiors ignored a State Department security warning banning travel by U.S. personnel on Highway 57; and what the Obama administration hid as evidence mounted that the semi-automatic weapons ad handguns used in the ambush came from one of its botched gun-walking operations that echoed the infamous and deadly Operation Fast and Furious scheme.

“The significant importance here,” Avila explained on an upcoming episode of my show, “Michelle Malkin Investigates,” is that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “had identified the arms traffickers, had them under surveillance, and had the opportunity to arrest them months before, and did nothing. They still allowed these individuals … the Osorio brothers, to continue trafficking in arms, and allowing the weapons to be walked south into Mexico. Once the weapons went south into Mexico, there is no trace of them. They were long gone. They were lost.”

While the feds have paid lip service to Zapata's sacrifice and Avila's courage, their actions have administered a collective slap in the face. The families' public records requests have been stymied every step of the way. Not a single Justice Department official has been punished for President Obama's deadly gun-walking failures. Instead, Avila was ostracized, transferred against his will and issued a “3R” letter to “resign, retire or relocate.”

As Avila's wife, Claudia, told my program: “He had to give up his passion … he loved his job. And the government ended that. I think more than anything we feel betrayed. We feel like complete outcasts … Very unfair. If you didn't know any better, you would think that Victor was this criminal person that did something very wrong in his line of duty and is being punished for it. I mean, we're outraged. We're very disheartened. The government has most definitely turned their back on us. And not only us but the Zapata family. I mean, they lost their son. They're still trying to find answers; they are overwhelmed.

Where is Congress? Where is President Trump? True justice for the Avila and Zapata families requires full accountability and real consequences — not just for the triggermen but for those who enabled them.

Michelle MalkinAbout: Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is host of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” on As well as the author of “Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs” and “Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America…” . Her email address is [email protected]

  • 12 thoughts on “An ICE Agent’s Quest for Justice

    1. Justice has been coerced by attorneys and politicians to the point where the illegal is legal and compensated by the law abiding citizen

    2. ALCON,

      Until the two murderers barack hussein soetoro-obama and eric “The Red” holder are awaiting hanging in a cellblock at Leavenworth for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry via their “Fast & Furious” conspiracy, there is NO JUSTICE in the former United States of America.

      When soetoro-obama and holder are swinging from the end of a rope, then and only then, will this nation begin to recover from the tyranny and crime perpetrated upon our citizens by both those two criminals and their Deep State cohorts.

    3. The money to be wsted on these murders worthy of the death penalty SHOULD be taken and used to take care of the out of pocket medical expenses, and funeral etc, expenses incurred by the victimis of their violence. HOW can the government deny covering the costs incurred by these innocent victims, simply going where they were told to go, doing what they were told to do, by THEIR EMPLOYER?

      Their supervisors, and the myriad dweebs who have mismanaged this case need to be put out into the middle of the Potomac Swamp and made to tread water till they don’t. “Civil servants”? They are neither.

    4. Jail? WHY? KILL THEM. Put some teeth in these trials and anyone killing a Federal Officer gets the DEATH PENALTY and it is CARRIED OUT within WEEKS.. NO life in prison for this slime. They killed someone so KILL THEM. Forget the PC crowd; why should WE PAY to keep this garbage alive anywhere: Shame on our “government” for not doing the right thing! This slime will have a better life in PRISON here in America than they would have in Mexico! KILL THEM.

    5. This is another case of injustice. The Bundys are being held without bail. In their case they are the targets of an enraged government. How dare they stand up for their rights. Their case and this one are not the only ones. Don’t expect the “injustice” department to do anything to relieve the horror of their predicaments. The Avila’s and the Zapatas have been him out to dry by uncaring and unrighteousness government servants who should know better. We the people have been ignored and put on watch lists.

      1. “WTF is wrong with this guy?”
        Not sure but I am incredibly disappointed in the man. I thought that he was brought in to help drain the swamp, not swim in it. As my grandmother used to say, “He needs to s#!t or get off the pot.”

        1. @Billy and DrS, I believe that Jeff Sessions sees himself as a southern gentlemen and the office of AG as an honorary position. Trump could have made any of us AG and we would know what orders to give, and who to hold accountable. All one needs is a pen, a calendar, and an org chart.

    6. What a waste of money taxpayers will shell out to keep these animals alive and in jail. The death penalty should be invoked as it is the only way to deal with these types. America used to have “cojones” but thanks to liberal democrat/commie political correct politicians, we’ve been castrated. The feds not reimbursing Avila’s expenses yet paying for the member’s family from Mexico is not just a slap in the face but a sign of who runs DC. Wake UP people!

      1. Trouble with the death penalty is it takes years if not decades of incarceration before they ARE executed!!!
        As an aside, WHY do media people SO OFTEN say innocent people are EXECUTED? Shouldn’t the word execution be reserved for PUTTING TO DEATH MURDERERS, NOT THE KILLING OF INNOCENTS BY THOSE MURDERERS???!!!

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