San Benito native takes over as RGV Border Patrol deputy chief

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials Monday announced the appointment of a San Benito native to the number two spot with the U.S. Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley.

Chief Agent Joel Martinez

Roughly six months after the sector’s former deputy chief patrol agent, Austin L. Skero II, left to take over as chief patrol agent in the Laredo sector; CBP named Joel Martinez the new deputy chief patrol agent of the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

Martinez, who joined the Border Patrol in 1992, began his career in the Laredo sector holding multiple positions, including as the patrol agent in charge of the Laredo South Station, executive responsible for the Sector Intelligence Unit, and served as assistant chief of the Southwest Border Operations Division at Border Patrol headquarters, according to the release from CBP.

Martinez takes over for Border Patrol Division Chief Lloyd Easterling who was acting deputy chief agent

In addition to being the recipient of multiple CBP commissioner’s awards, Martinez is a graduate of the CBP Leadership Institute-Cohort 1503-University of Maryland-Smith School of Business and holds a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Ashford University, the release stated.

As part of his duties in the RGV Sector, Martinez is tasked with oversight of the strategy and tactical operations of several Border Patrol stations, securing more than 275 miles of river and more than 300 miles of coastal area of responsibility spanning 34 counties, according to the CBP release.

“I am happy to return to the RGV and look forward to continuing the great work underway in the sector,” Martinez said in a prepared statement. “The sector remains the busiest in the nation and I am proud to join dedicated men and women working hard to secure the border in Rio Grande Valley.”