US News

Two instigators of El Paso border riot that left National Guard troops injured were let go by feds: DA

Two of the main instigators of the El Paso border rush, where migrants assaulted Texas National Guardsmen during an attempt to break into the US, were shockingly let go by federal authorities, The Post has learned.

El Paso District Attorney Bill Hicks said his office has charged nine individuals who were ringleaders of the riot with felonies — assisted by scrutinizing The Post’s video of the altercation — but two of them have yet to be located after being let free.

“While I’m not particularly concerned about immigration cases, I am concerned about violence and destruction of property, and that group moved forward in a way that caused damage to National Guardsmen,” Hicks said at a press conference Tuesday.

Migrants break barriers and rush the National Guard in El Paso. James Breeden for NY Post

“Guardsmen were punched in the face, they stomped on the knees of Guardsmen that can result in permanent injuries; one tried to get a gun away from a Guardsman – we don’t have to talk about how dangerous that is.”

The two missing individuals are allegedly the ones who cut the border wire and were involved in physically assaulting National Guard soldiers, some of whom were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries. Hicks didn’t give a reason why they were let go from federal custody.

The state has charged more than 220 people of the approximately 326 individuals they originally hoped to apprehend, the others have been released by Border Patrol.

The seven instigators who remain in the county jail have been indicted by a grand jury.

Everisto Benitez Martinez has previously been identified as the man who allegedly stomped on a guardsman’s knee repeatedly during the melee.

Others accused of being ringleaders have been charged with criminal mischief, in addition to riot charges. Further details as to their identities were not available on Tuesday.

On Sunday El Paso magistrate judge Humberto Acosta said the “hundreds of arrestees” from the riot were entitled to have individual bail hearings within 48 hours of being charged. He also denied Hicks’ request for more time to prepare as it was Easter Sunday and he wanted to have staff available.

Hicks responded during Tuesday’s presser, saying he was shocked by Acosta’s decision.

Border Patrol close a gate in the border wall. Getty Images
Migrants wait for Border Patrol to take them into custody. Getty Images
Texas authorities place more wire barriers along the border. Getty Images

“I was very surprised on Sunday when Judge Acosta asked my assistant district attorney if we had the cases in our office, that is completely irrelevant to whether or not we are ready to proceed on a bond hearing,” Hicks said, adding that his office was prepared for individual bond hearings.

After Acosta ruled the 39 migrants before him should be released on their own recognizance, they were taken into federal custody by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

The next day when another batch of migrants charged with rioting were brought before the court, their public defender requested a delay in the hearing as if released, they would go straight to the feds and no longer have access to a lawyer.