Juan David Ortiz

Prosecutors seek death penalty for border agent who allegedly said he killed 4 sex workers to ‘clean up the streets’

A U.S. Border Patrol agent who reportedly confessed to killing four sex workers in Texas was indicted on capital murder charges Wednesday.

Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said Juan David Ortiz, 35, killed the four women in September because he “wanted to clean up the streets” as he felt not enough was being done to curb prostitution in Loredo. The prosecutor alleged Ortiz believed he was “doing a service,” saying he thought the women were expendable and wouldn’t be missed, according to the Loredo Morning Times.

The Washington Post reported that Ortiz picked up all four victims—Melissa Ramirez, 29; Claudine Ann Luera, 42; Griselda Alicia Hernandez Cantu, 35; and Nikki Enriquez, 28—on the side of the road in September and dumped their bodies in rural regions of Webb County.

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Arrest records obtained by the outlet said the women were killed execution-style. Ortiz allegedly told investigators how he shot Ramirez in the head as she urinated in some shrubbery. He reportedly recalled a similar story with Luera, who died of her injuries at the hospital.

Ortiz was arrested after a woman reportedly escaped from his truck and told law enforcement that he pulled a gun on her.

“By day, he was a family man. The evidence shows that he was a supervisor, that he would go about his daily activities like anybody here. He appeared normal by all accounts and circumstances,” Alaniz said of Ortiz.

“At the nighttime, he was somebody else—hunting the streets…for this community of people and arbitrarily deciding who he was going to kill next.”

Ortiz, a Navy veteran who worked intelligence for Border Patrol for a decade, was arrested on murder charges in September. It took a grand jury 20 minutes to upgrade the charges to capital murder and find Ortiz’s actions warrant the death penalty, according to KGNS.

Alaniz said there are no mitigating factors in this case that would make Ortiz eligible for life without parole. He remains jailed on $2.5 million bond.

He said, “The horrific nature of the murders. His complete disregard for human life. His vigilante mentality. He violated his oath to his country and his agency that he swore to protect.”

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[Featured image: Juan David Ortiz/Webb County Sheriff’s Office]