In March 2017, a San Diego federal court approved a settlement of $1 million for the family of a Tijuana teenager who died in federal custody at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in 2013 after being instructed by two U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to drink liquid methamphetamine.
Cruz Marcelino Velázquez Acevedo was 16 when he was referred for secondary inspection after crossing into the United States. He died in convulsions that same night after taking sips, prompted by federal agents who opted not to test the liquid according to legitimate protocol, from two juice bottles the officers suspected were contraband.
NPAP member attorney Eugene Iredale represented Velázquez’s family. “[The San Ysidro Port of Entry] have many test kits [that] are readily available,” he told the LA Times, but these were not used.
The officers in question, Valerie Baird and Adrian Parellon, reportedly remain employed by Customs and Border Protection in San Diego.