Feds: Agents Made Suspects Strip, Eat Marijuana

August 05, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A federal grand jury has indicted two U.S. Border Patrol agents on civil rights violations in Southern Arizona.

The indictment, handed down on August 3, alleges that while on-duty in the Tucson sector in 2008, the agents grabbed four Mexican drug smugglers and made them eat their own marijuana.

Then, instead of arresting them, investigators said they made the four men remove most of their clothing, including their shoes.

Border Patrol Agents Dario Castillo and Ramon Zuniga are also accused of setting fire to their clothes, some food the men were carrying and making the alleged smugglers run out into the desert.

There was no shelter or resources for miles in any direction in the arid region.

The alleged incident happened about 10:30 p.m. on November 12, 2008. The temperature in the desert that night was about 40 degrees.

One of the agents faces an additional charge of tampering with a witness. If convicted on all of the charges, the agents could be sent to prison.