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      Head of CBP responds after agent assaults teens, woman

      Gil Kerlikowske via CBP

      The FBI is leading the investigation into the assault of three immigrants present in the U.S. illegally and a border patrol agent found dead.

      However, they do believe the border patrol agent who was found dead in his Mission apartment is the person responsible for the kidnappings and assault of all three females found on Wednesday, March 12.

      Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske has since released a statement about the crime.

      I want you to know that I consider these actions, if true, to be reprehensible and I know they are not representative of the agents of the U.S. Border Patrol, he said.

      The FBI is keeping tight-lipped on the investigation.

      Sources say two teens and a woman were assaulted by the border patrol agent.

      Sources close to the investigation tell us the deceased agent is Esteban Manzanares, and Action 4 News has also learned a 14-year-old girl was found in the agent's apartment on Thursday, March 13.

      One of the Hondurans was found injured near a trail just off Abram Road south of Mission.

      Kerlikowske adds that they are working diligently to make sure the victims of the assault are receiving proper care.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the agent assaulted the three Hondurans after finding them along a path commonly used by immigrants present in the U.S. without proper documentation.

      I personally contacted embassy officials from the victims TM country of origin to inform them of the incident and express my deep concern for the well-being of their citizens, Kerlikowske said.

      The CBP Commissioner adds he is doing everything in his power to prevent incidents like this one from happening again.

      Kerlikowske oversees the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the largest law enforcement agency.

      He was nominated by President Obama and was sworn in last week on March 7, 2014.

      FULL STATEMENT FROM CBPS COMMISSIONER GIL KERLIKOWSKE:

      Early yesterday morning I was notified that one of our agents may have committed a very serious and disturbing crime against three individuals, a woman and two teenage girls, near Abram, Texas. I want you to know that I consider these actions, if true, to be reprehensible and I know they are not representative of the agents of the U.S. Border Patrol. Right now, we are fully cooperating with the FBI who is conducting the investigation into these allegations and working diligently to make sure the victims are receiving the proper care and attention.

      I personally contacted embassy officials from the victims TM country of origin to inform them of the incident and express my deep concern for the well-being of their citizens. I want you to know that as concerned as I am about this incident, the men and women at CBP and particularly in McAllen, have my support. We offer a wide range of services to assist employees in coping with difficult personal or professional matters; we are currently making additional counseling available to impacted personnel. I am deeply sorry that this incident occurred and am committed to doing everything in my power to prevent incidents like this from occurring again.

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