Smugglers Found Guilty in Death of Coastguardsmen
The U.S. Coast Guard released Friday the Final Action Memorandum of an administrative investigation into the death of Senior Chief Terrell Horne, III during a law enforcement mission on December 2, 2012.
Senior Chief Horne was killed when the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut’s small boat was rammed by a fleeing panga-type vessel suspected of conducting illicit smuggling near Santa Cruz, Calif.
According to the Final Action Memorandum, Senior Chief Horne’s death was caused by the deliberate actions of the panga operator. The memorandum also states that all Coast Guard units and crews involved in this incident properly followed all applicable policies, tactics, techniques and procedures.
“Tragic incidents like these remind us of the dangers our crews face every day in the fight against illicit smuggling,” said Vice Adm. Paul Zukunft, Commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, and the convening authority for the investigation. “We continue to mourn the loss of our shipmate and resolve to honor his legacy and sacrifice.”
Following a seven-day trial, a federal jury convicted two Mexican nationals on February 5, 2014 of charges related to the death of Senior Chief Horne. One of the defendants was convicted of second-degree murder. Sentencing is scheduled for May 12, 2014.
The Final Action Memorandum is publically available online in the Coast Guard’s FOIA reading room. http://www.uscg.mil/foia/FOIA_Library.asp.