By LOUIE DIAZ
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection assigned Joel Martinez, a San Benito native, as Deputy Chief Patrol Agent to the U.S Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector.
Martinez began his career with the Border Patrol in 1992 at the Laredo South Station in the Laredo Sector.
According to a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DCPA Martinez is responsible for 34 counties spanning 277 river miles and 316 coastal miles. He is in charge of Cameron County to Starr County along the U.S.-Mexico Border and from Cameron County all the way to Harris County along the Gulf Coast.
DCPA Martinez held different leadership positions throughout his career. He has served as Patrol Agent in Charge of the Laredo South Station, Director-Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats for the Laredo Sector, and as Assistant Chief of the Southwest Border Operations Division at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters.
“I’ve been progressing through the ranks and each position helped me with the next position,” Martinez said.
Martinez also served as DCPA of the Laredo sector for almost two years and of the Big Bend Sector as well.
Martinez’s role as DCPA of the Rio Grande Valley means that he is second-in-command of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector.
“I make sure we have the right strategy in place for every station in our sector, that they are running operations according to our mission and strategy,” Martinez said.
Martinez believes that his appointment as DCPA of the Rio Grande Valley is among some of his most rewarding achievements in his 28-year career.
“Yeah, the marks up there with them [achievements] coming back home and working in the area where I grew up,” Martinez said. “I have a vested interest in this area, I do care about the area, I do care about the people, so this is one of my proudest moments.”
DCPA Martinez graduated from San Benito High School in 1985. He also is a graduate of the CBP Leadership Institute-Cohort 1503-University of Maryland-Smith School of Business and earned a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Ashford University.
“My humble beginnings there in San Benito helped me out a lot,” Martinez said. “I’m real proud of where I’m at and I attribute a lot of that to the character that was built growing up in San Benito.”
Martinez will replace Austin L. Skero II, who is now Chief Patrol Agent of the Del Rio sector. Before Skero, Raul Ortiz held the position of Deputy Chief of the Rio Grand Valley sector. Ortiz is now Deputy Chief of the entire U.S. Border Patrol.
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