Border Patrol History Books

                                    Training 1930s to 1979

    More than 330 Academy Sessions from El Paso to Port Isabel

                                     with rosters and index.


            Activity on both the Southern and Northern Borders

                                                                        More than 600 Photos


                                             Activity on both the Southern and Northern Borders

                                                                        More than 600 Photos

                                                                     All Books Fully Indexed

Each available only from The Border Patrol Museum for a $75 donation.

4315 Trans Mountain Road

El Paso, TX  79924

Telephone 915 759 6060


                    Shod With Iron

     Life On The Mexican Border With the U.S. Border Patrol

                                          Buck Newsom

                                                      Published 1983

“I arrived in the Border Patrol with all my teeth, a new saddle, and a hard-on. I still have the saddle.”

Buck was a Border Patrol Inspector who spent most of his career on the Texas/Mexican Border with an early assignment at the old Amado Station in Arizona. Many good stories about his work.  ca: 1940s-1960s.

Later he owned the “Horse Concession” in Big Bend National Park.

Available at

Stories From The Secret War

Terrence M. Burke

Published 2012

Terrence M. Burke was assigned as a CIA intelligence operations officer, primarily in Southeast Asia, from 1960 to 1970. In 1965, he was awarded the CIA Intelligece Star for Valor. Burke joined the DEA in 1971, serving in the U.S., Afghanistan, and the Netherlands. He ended his 20-year career there in 1991 as Deputy Administrator of DEA. He has conducted private international investigations since then; for the past 11 years under his own company, T.M. Burke International, LLC

"The stars were clear and bright in the northern Laotian sky at 5 A.M. on May 21, 1965. The trouble was that I should not have been able to see the stars. The thatched hut that I shared with two of my Thai partners had no window in it. My ears were ringing from the shattering noise that had awoken me. I was looking through what, until moments before, had been the side wall of the hut, when the initial mortar round was followed by a second that blew dirt and debris through the gaping hole The mortars were joined by the sound of automatic weapons fire ripping through our small area of huts that rested on a slight rise above a northern Laotian village. I shouted to the two Thais to go out the door on the north side of the hut and head towards the dirt airstrip we had just cut out of the jungle. I had slept, as usual, in my fatigue jacket and trousers with my jungle boots on and laced. I pulled several bandoleers of ammunition over my shoulder, shoved grenades in my jacket pocket, and checked the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson that rested in the shoulder holster I had also worn while sleeping. There is something to be said for being paranoid when you are the lone CIA paramilitary officer behind enemy lines within a few miles of both the Chinese and North Vietnamese borders. The sound of automatic weapons fire, mortars and grenades was growing in intensity by the second. Bending on one knee, I drew my knife from its sheath on my belt and slashed at the plastic overlay on the map board on which I had marked both enemy and friendly positions. I did not want that map to fall into enemy hands. Two North Vietnamese soldiers, eerily backlit by the first light of dawn that began to brighten the sky, lunged into the doorway. Not seeing me, they began to spray fire from their automatic rifles in an arc starting to their right and turning left towards where I knelt a few feet away."

La Plata Books LLC
361 South Camino del Rio
Suite 103
Durango, CO 81303

                 O Plata O Plomo

                                          “Silver or Lead”

                                        James Kuykendall

                                                         Published 2005

Told in first person by someone who was there. This is the story of the kidnapping of DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, and of the failed attempt to find and rescue him It is also the story of the grim discovery of his body, along with that of his friend, Alfredo Zavala, and of the oft times thwarted chase of the major narcotics traffickers beleived to be responsible for this murder. The Mexican government's bizzare cover-ups are not so easily explained. It is an almost unbelievable true story of crime and corruption.

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        Let Me Finish This Beer

   and We’ll Go Catch Somebody

                                                    Ev Turner

                                                              Published 2011

“This instance epitomizes a creed I live by, especially in Law Enforcement. “If you got a little luck, shit’ll do for brains.” Most, if not all, Egotists cannot embrace this hypothesis. Pragmatist can embrace no other. This isn’t to say skill, experience, knowledge, and dedication, don’t play a part. They do increase the odds.”

In 1957, the author was working for ASARCO at their zinc smelter—a backbreaking, bone-dissolving, lung-eating job for eleven dollars and twenty-cents a day. It was one of the better paying jobs in the plant, but the author was open to any employment offer. A newspaper article introduced him to his next profession as a U.S. Border Patrol Inspector. Unknown to him, this would be the beginning of a career in Federal Law Enforcement lasting for almost three decades.

From serving with the Border Patrol, Customs Agency Service, Customs Office of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, to Customs Patrol, Turner shares to readers how he served in line positions for twenty-eight years, never as an assistant nor deputy. Let Me Finish This Beer and We’ll Go Catch Somebody lets readers experience life in somebody else’s shoes through vivid retelling

                                                                                    Available at:


                                                                            Barnes and


        If Ya Gotta’ Little Luck

         Shit’ll Do For Brains

                      Everett Turner

                                       Published 2013

Basically abandoned by mother and father, he may have lost the fight but for the generosity, love, and acceptance of other family members.

         Relatives in Oklahoma and Arkansas lived in poverty, enduring the depression with no electricity or running water in the homes. None had an education past primary or middle school. There was however, plenty of love, integrity, and support, those traits not learned from formal advanced educations.

            Rural families of the depression era were not as adversely affected as city folk. They had lived in depression all their lives and knew poverty and how to cope, producing their own food and working their own farms

            Little Everett Hoyt never felt abandoned by any of these fine people who taught him the lessons of life usually taught by mother and father. All lived frugal, Christian lives. All had a good sense of humor and no thought of personal depression in spite of their circumstances. The atmosphere was happy and bright.

            The gratitude owed these fine loving people is immeasurable.

             Everett left school in the tenth grade and joined the Navy. After four years in the Navy he married Sharon Allatt Smith in Tucson in 1956 with whom he had four children, Lincoln, Lance, Layne, and La Chelle.

             He worked as a laborer in the smelter in Amarillo, Texas, construction labor in Tucson, Arizona, labor and machinist apprentice at the mine in San Manuel, Arizona.

             Everett joined Federal Law Enforcement in 1958 serving with the Border Patrol, Customs Agency Service, Customs Office of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Customs Patrol. He served in Calexico, Indio and San Ysidro, California, Rouses Point, New York, Nogales and Lukeville, Arizona, Barcelona, Spain, Chicago, Illinois, and El Paso, Texas.

             In 1973 he married Marilyn Teresa Keinrath Parlee in Arlington, Virginia with whom he raised three children, Tracy, Teresa, and Robyn.

Available at

Click here for Paperback

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            Richard is Missing

                                            Dennis Harlan

                                                        Published 2005

After more than a quarter century Dennis Harlan finally tells the true story Of brutal murder, intensive investigation and speedy resolution that crisscrossed the U.S./Mexican border for 10 days and involved Mexican Federales, the Del Rio Police Department, Val Verde DA's Office, Texas Rangers, U.S. Customs and the F.B.I.

Harlan takes great care to honor individual men and women in law enforcement who helped in the investigation, but pulls no punches in a chapter entitled "The Tail That Wagged the Dog," when he describes the ego bolstering and degeneration of camaraderie that's become more prevalent in this branch of government.

Harlan's blow by blow accounts taken directly from the case history that was his responsibility to write, reveal the professionalism with which he managed the case while dealing with his underlying feelings of loss about his compadre.

Richard is Missing is a great read for law enforcement officers, both veterans and those new to the territory, and for anyone with an inquiring mind and a keen eye for well documented accounts of true crime in a volatile locale that's close to home-very close to home.


Dennis Harlan

                            Agency of Fear

                                         Edward Epstein

                                     Revised edition (December 1, 1990)


President Bush has made the war against drugs the number one issue on the contemporary American political agenda. In this revised edition of his classic book, available for the first time in paperback, Edward Jay Epstein argues that the president has adopted the strategy of his forbear, Richard Nixon, in using the drugs war to blame foreigners for the crisis in America's cities, and to provide a smokescreen for unrelated political activity designed to bolster executive power. The drugs crackdown has seen an almost hundredfold increase in the federal budget for narco-politics in the fifteen years since Agency of Fear was first published, while statistics on drug-running have been massaged. Epstein points out that, despite the massive budgets and public relations brouhaha, drug importation, as measured against wholesale price, has in fact grown.

About the Author

Edward Jay Epstein is the author of ten books including deception: The Invisible War between the CIA and KGB, The rise and Fall of Diamonds, Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth and News From Nowhere.

Available at

    The Three US-Mexico Border Wars

                                                  Tony Payan

                                                              Published 2006

“In this text for policy makers and concerned citizens, Payan describes how the war on drugs, the war over the enforcement of immigration laws, and the war on terror have affected relations between Mexico and the U.S. and their shared border. Particular attention is paid to the conflict between the U.S. government's efforts to close the border and the desire of residents of local communities to keep it open.”

“Tony Payan's book is an excellent primer on the myriad policy issues facing the United States and Mexico as they grapple with the opportunity and tragedy of their common border. Payan's lucid prose illuminates past and present on a frontier that has evolved from a collection of unguarded desert outposts, to an urbanized battleground of cultural conflict.”; Hector Tobar author of Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States.

Available at


                                              George Grayson

                                                               Published 2009

"Characterized by exhaustive research, rare in-depth knowledge of the subject outside Mexico, and compassionate wit, George Grayson's new book confirms him as one of the most distinguished scholars of Mexican politics and history. No other publication to date has unpacked and analyzed so thoroughly the labyrinthine and brutal underworld of Mexico's feared drug cartels and their complex relationship with the country's authorities and society." --Dr. Francisco E. Gonzalez, Riordan Roett Chair in Latin American Studies, The Johns Hopkins University

"William and Mary Professor George Grayson ranks among the most knowledgeable and insightful analysts of Mexican society and politics writing today. His new book on Mexico's bloody and brutal drug cartels constitutes a major contribution to the growing body of research on the "drug thugs" who are making billions by trafficking drugs in Mexico and through their country into the United States while wreaking havoc on both sides of the border. His detailed case studies of Mexico's major drug "cartels" or organized crime families active in the lucrative illicit narcotics trade - the leadership and internal dynamics of the major criminal organizations, the rivalries and shifting alliances among these ruthless groups, and the shockingly violent tactics they employ against each other, the Mexican government and the Mexican people - make for a fascinating but sobering read.

Concisely written and painstakingly documented, Grayson's book is a must for anyone interested in understanding what is happening in the United States' besieged southern neighbor and the implications that Mexico's current crisis holds for American society, American security and U.S-Mexican bilateral relations." --Bruce M. Bagley, University of Miami

Available at

                    Devil’s Highway

                                                    Luis Urrea

                                                               Published 2001

In May 2001, 26 Mexican men scrambled across the border and into an area of the Arizona desert known as the Devil's Highway. Only 12 made it safely across. American Book Award winning writer and poet Urrea (Across the Wire; Six Kinds of Sky; etc.), who was born in Tijuana and now lives outside Chicago, tracks the paths those men took from their home state of Veracruz all the way norte. Their enemies were many: the U.S. Border Patrol ("La Migra"); gung-ho gringo vigilantes bent on taking the law into their own hands; the Mexican Federales; rattlesnakes; severe hypothermia and the remorseless sun, a "110 degree nightmare" that dried their bodies and pounded their brains.

In artful yet uncomplicated prose, Urrea captivatingly tells how a dozen men squeezed by to safety, and how 14 others whom the media labeled the Yuma 14 did not. But while many point to the group's smugglers (known as coyotes) as the prime villains of the tragedy, Urrea unloads on, in the words of one Mexican consul, "the politics of stupidity that rules both sides of the border." Mexican and U.S. border policy is backward, Urrea finds, and it does little to stem the flow of immigrants. Since the policy results in Mexicans making the crossing in increasingly forbidding areas, it contributes to the conditions that kill those who attempt it.

Confident and full of righteous rage, Urrea's story is a well-crafted melange of first-person testimony, geographic history, cultural and economic analysis, poetry and an indictment of immigration policy. It may not directly influence the forces behind the U.S.'s southern border travesties, but it does give names and identities to the faceless and maligned "wetbacks" and "pollos," and highlights the brutality and unsustainable nature of the many walls separating the two countries.

Available at

                        Drug Lord

                                             Terrence E. Poppa

                                                               Published 1990

Pablo Acosta, born in abject poverty in Mexico, became drug czar of Ojinaga across the border from the Big Bend country of Texas. He launched his career by smuggling marijuana and heroin into the U.S., later adding cocaine, and forging an alliance with Colombian drug traders. At the peak, he may have controlled 60% of the coke trafficked into the U.S., according to Poppa.

The author shows that Acosta consolidated his power by murdering rivals, corrupting local police and soldiers, distributing money to the poor and contributing generously to civic projects. Eventually, however, he became a coke addict; his iron entrepreneurial grip slipped; and he was tracked down and killed in 1987 by an international narcotic strike force.

Poppa interviewed the drug lord in 1986 for the El Paso Herald-Post and bases this enlightening book in part on those talks. Photos not seen by PW.

Available at


America's Senior Investigators

Dave Ellis

Published 2004

I have tried to present this slice of Customs history with a 535 page chronicle of my own investigative and management experiences, many good - some bad, which begin before WWII and even continued into the Reagan Administration after retirement (except for the Carter years). Most of the many types and classes of Customs investigations are presented to illustrate how a knowledge of investigative techniques, procedures and applicable laws, combined with hard work, a sixth sense for detecting facts supporting suspicions - with some good luck - produced the high quality investigations by which Customs Agents delivered the investigative part of the Customs Mission during that era.

Combined with this personal history is an insight into the secretive manner by which major changes were made during the Johnson Presidency as Commissioner Phillip Nichols quietly displaced the Bureau of Customs bureaucrats and created a Customs Service managed mainly by field experience executives. Also included are some 150 pages of annual reports and other correspondence between the Supervising Customs Special Agents and Treasury Secretaries, beginning in 1874.

David C. Ellis
3409 Shady Valley Drive

Austin, Texas 78748



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