Rep. Ted Budd Sponsors Bill to Allow Criminal Prosecution for Killing Federal Officers Overseas

Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) has co-sponsored H.R. 2137, Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila Federal Law Enforcement Protection Act. The bill is named after law enforcement officers Jamie Zapata and Victor Avila, who were attacked by drug cartels while they were on duty in Mexico on February 15, 2011. Special Agent Zapata was killed and Special Agent Avila sustained life-threatening injuries.

As chief sponsor Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) explained, “an appeals court threw out the conviction for the cartel members for the murder of Special Agent Zapata because it was claimed that Congress was not clear that the underlying law applied to crimes committed outside the United States.”

The bipartisan Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila Federal Law Enforcement Protection Act “explicitly grants extraterritorial jurisdiction over criminal conduct involving the killing (or attempted killing) of a federal officer or employee. The United States may prosecute such conduct that occurs outside the United States.”

The Senate’s companion bill is S. 921.

Rep. Budd said in a statement:

“Anyone who harms or attempts to harm a federal officer should be brought to justice, period. I’m proud to co-sponsor this bipartisan bill to honor Special Agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila, as well as the thousands of law enforcement officers who patrol our border and keep drugs and crime out of our country.”


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