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Drug Agent Killed Attempting Narcotics Arrest

January 2, 1987

PHARR, Texas (AP) _ A Drug Enforcement Administration agent was shot to death when a drug bust exploded into gunfire, and a 29-year-old man wounded in the shootout was charged with killing the agent, officials said Thursday.

Special Agent William Ramos, 30, was shot in the chest Wednesday while trying to arrest a suspect in a supermarket parking lot, said Ken Miley, assistant special agent in charge of the DEA’s McAllen district office.

Felipe Molina-Uribe, a McAllen man who suffered a leg wound, was arrested at the scene and charged with killing a federal agent, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Milner said. Molina-Uribe was under guard at a hospital.

Molina-Uribe’s van was confiscated after agents found 300 pounds of marijuana inside worth about $150,000, Miley said.

Molina-Uribe and a man arrested Thursday, Benito Cavazos-Lamas, 25, were also named in a federal complaint accusing them possession with intent to distribute 303 pounds of marijuana and with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute the marijuana, Milner said.

Cavazos-Lamas, a Mexican living in McAllen, and Molina-Uribe would be held without bond pending a detention hearing, said Milner.

The dead agent, Ramos, was a New York native and former prosecutor in Arizona who also had served with the U.S. Border Patrol for two years. He joined the DEA in 1985.

Miley said the last DEA agent killed in the line of duty was Enrique Camarena Salazar. Camarena was killed in Mexico in February 1985.

On Oct. 31, Manuel Segovia of the Hidalgo County sheriff’s office was shot to death during a raid at a trailer house near Mercedes, roughly 20 miles east of here.

Miley said violence against law officers in the Rio Grande Valley would continue as long as smugglers and drug dealers continue to bring in ″the huge profits they’re making. ... They’re going to protect their liberty and their profits.″

Miley has said he believes the Valley is the No. 1 illegal drug entry point into the United States.

The FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety narcotics division and local law enforcement would assist the DEA’s investigation, which was concentrated Thursday in the Valley, he said.

Update hourly