Border Patrol Agent Accused Of Immigrant Abuse

Luis E. Fonseca Pleaded Not Guilty To Kneeing, Choking Undocumented Immigrant

A U.S. Border Patrol agent pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge that he kneed and choked an undocumented immigrant in Imperial Beach last summer.

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Luis E. Fonseca -- who was assigned to the Imperial Beach Border Patrol Station -- is charged with deprivation of rights under the color of law.

Magistrate Judge William McCurine Jr. set bond at $25,000 for Fonseca and ordered the 31-year-old defendant to return to court on May 29 for a motions hearing.

The one-page indictment, which refers to the alleged victim as "UA#1," alleges Fonseca "kneed and choked UA#1, willfully depriving him of the right, secured and protected by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer, resulting in bodily injury to UA#1."

"People detained at the border should be treated with human dignity and respect by federal agents," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. "It is important for the public to know that the Department of Justice takes alleged civil rights violations seriously. We have processes in place to investigate and will take action where appropriate to protect those rights."

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