Texas Jailer Dies from COVID After Processing Migrant 200 Miles from Border

Refugio County Jailer Ricardo Hinojosa. (Photo: Refugio County Sheriff's Office)
Photo: Refugio County Sheriff's Office

Residents of Refugio County, Texas, honored the life of a sheriff’s office jailer on Tuesday who died in the line of duty after contracting the coronavirus while processing a migrant apprehended in a human smuggling incident. A sheriff’s office deputy is also recovering from COVID-19 after apprehending the migrant 200 miles from the Texas-Mexico border.

In what is becoming a daily occurrence, Refugio County Sheriff’s Office deputies interdicted a human smuggling operation, Sheriff Raul “Pinky” Gonzales told Breitbart Texas. One of the migrants apprehended earlier this month was later determined to be infected with the coronavirus. The migrant passed on the virus to a deputy and a jailer.

As a result of the exposure, Jailer Ricardo Hinojosa contracted COVID-19 and died on August 14, Sheriff Gonzales said. On Tuesday, Refugio County laid their public servant to rest.

Gonzales said one of his deputies also contracted COVID-19 from his interaction while transporting the migrant to the U.S. Border Patrol station in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“We didn’t know the migrant was infected, but he was coughing a lot,” the sheriff explained. “Two or three days later, my officers came down with COVID. My jailer, Ricardo Hinojosa, got it real bad. He died in about a week and a half or two weeks. My deputy is recovering and just got out of the hospital.”

“So that’s why, when I hear President Biden on the news, acting like he’s all concerned about this virus and about this pandemic, telling people to wear a mask and all that,” Gonzales continued. “He was the one that caused a lot of these problems here.”

“We are testing the migrants when we apprehend these big groups being smuggled through our county,” he stated. “We are always finding that some of them are infected with COVID.”

The death of Security Officer Hinojosa impacted more than just the sheriff’s office. His stepson, Omar Alvarez, posted a message on Facebook and asked for prayers for his mother and family.

Refugio County is located on U.S. Highway 77 between Corpus Christi and Victoria — a well known human smuggling corridor. It is approximately 200 miles from the Mexican border.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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