February 17, 2012, - 3:27 pm

ICE Agents: “Shooting No Surprise w/ Obama Bad Morale, Mgt @ Immigration Agency;” EXCLUSIVE Victims’/Shooters’ Names

By Debbie Schlussel

*** NEW UPDATE: EXCLUSIVE: Obama ICE Chief Ignores Agent-Shootings; In NYC Job-Seeking @ NBC, Viacom, to LA for Oscars (on Your Dime) ***


As you’ve probably heard, yesterday there was a shooting incident involving three Los Angeles-area Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, with one agent shooting and killing another, and a third agent shot but alive.    DebbieSchlussel.com is the first news source in the world to identify the names of the shooters/victims. Let’s see how many mainstream media sources that accessed this site and stole the info give us credit. Not AP.

While you might believe the mainstream media narrative that this was just a workplace rage incident, it’s actually far deeper than that.  It’s a direct result of how bad things have gotten under the Obama administration and John Morton, the man the President picked to run the agency . . . into the ground.  And it’s about Janet Napolitano, who is really running ICE through her surrogates, Suzie “Stripper Pole” Barr and Beth Gibson.


Fatal Distraction: The Morale at ObamaNapolitanoMorton ICE is Deadly

ICE, as I recently told you, came in 222nd out of 240 government agencies, as rated by each agency’s own respective employees.  Not a week goes by in which I’m not asked by an ICE agent to represent him or her in my capacity as an attorney in a legitimate legal matter against the agency.  And I’ve agreed to take some of these cases, as well as those by other Homeland Security federal agents.  Morale is at an all-time low throughout.  Agents can’t deport illegal aliens per Obama, and they can’t do much else in their nebulous roles.

ICE Deputy Special Agent in Charge for Los Angeles, Kevin Kozak, was initially shot by ICE Senior Supervisory Special Agent Zeke Garcia at ICE’s Long Beach office.  Garcia was then shot and killed by ICE Assistant Special Agent in Charge Perry Woo.  Garcia was in a “counseling session” with Kozak, reportedly over a disciplinary matter, and Woo was there as the witness, the typical procedure for such matters.  Garcia shot Kozak four times and then was shot and killed by Woo.

It’s unusual that federal agents would feel sorry for the man who did the shooting (and was ultimately killed) and not for the man who was initially shot and lived.  But, in this case, the man who was initially shot yesterday, ICE Los Angeles Deputy Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kozak, was part of the problem, not the solution.  I condemn violence, I wish him well, and I hope he fully recovers.  But while he certainly did not deserve to be shot, the many ICE agents I know have universally condemned this man and not a single one is surprised this happened.  In fact, a retired federal agent I know who worked at ICE told me that everyone predicted that one of these days, Kozak was going to take a bullet by fed-up, abused employees.  Other agents from all over the country have echoed the sentiment.  I’m told that there have been years of complaints filed against Kozak for bad management and discrimination.  Never once was anything done about it.  And the fish rots from the head down, with the head being Obama appointee/ICE Chief John Moron Morton, who is flying to Los Angeles to “save the day” that can’t be saved and get face time for his faux-somberness. As I first reported here long ago, this is the same Los Angeles ICE division that was headed by two corrupt agents, Robert Schoch and is close personal BFF Jennifer Silliman, both of whom were allowed to keep their jobs despite what agents was their apparently faking of expenses (the official allegations were “embezzlement” and “misuse of ICE funds”). Obama’s John Morton and Suzie “Stripper Pole” Barr let them get away with it. (As I reported, Kozak was Schoch’s acting replacement ta the time.)

ICE has already begun the spin, portraying the shooter as a nut.  But he was not.  ICE Agent Zeke Garcia (full name: Ezequiel Garcia), a Group Supervisor who oversaw a team of ICE agents, had a long career at ICE reportedly without a problem.  He was a universally liked man who was bullied by Kozak and snapped.  As one former ICE agent said, “What does it take for a great guy like this to snap like this?  Answer:  Kevin Kozak.”  Garcia was originally with the INS and that was, reportedly, part of why he was bullied. Yet another episode, this one very tragic, in the old INS/Customs dispute, as the two agencies merged into ICE and ICE pretends to do immigration enforcement but actually does nothing.

**** UPDATE: One ICE agent who knew Garcia says the dispute was regarding Garcia being yanked around, being deliberately transferred by Kozak to an office that would add 90 minutes to his daily commute:

He was recently divorced and has a kid. After the divorce, they moved him from the Laguna office to Long Beach increasing his commute by 90 minutes and, then, were screwing with him and tried to discipline him. There are a lot of high strung guys in the agency, but Zeke was never one of them.


One ICE agent:

Kozak, who is an open INS hater, was going after yet another legacy INS supervisor and got shot.  The Group Supervisor that shot him, Zeke Garcia was a great guy from what I knew of him.  He was killed by ASAC [Assistant Special Agent in Charge] Perry Woo.  What a continued mess that office is.  Congress should investigate the whole merger and the continued assault of the legacy INS folks in HSI [Homeland Security Investigations, ICE’s new branding].

Expect our agency to go dead last in that federal survey.


Kozak is a well known a**hole, from the John Chakwin school of management.   None of the agents are surprised by this.  ICE has the kind of management that pushes, and pushes and it was just a matter of time before they pushed a guy over the edge.  What a f**ked up outfit.

And another:

Deputy SAIC Kevin Kozak….. One of the most despised and corrupt agents in the agency.  ICE has already begun their coverup and attack against “the shooter” who was a very good and liked agent.  I have personally overheard agents talk that someday Kozak would take a bullet…. That it was just a matter time.

I have personally assisted agents with their formal written complaints against this pieces of s**t.  Kozak has more mismanagement and discrimination complaints filed against him than probably any other supervisor in the agency, yet because of his connections in DC, the agency never does anything. Now they will surround the wagons around Kozak “the victim” and trash the name of ” the shooter”.

And finally another (sarcastically):

What a peachy agency ICE is!!!!

Again, I do not condone the violence against Mr. Kozak. But when an agent opens fire on another agent and shoots four times, apparently trying to kill another agent, it’s not usual he gets sympathy and the victim is universally disdained. In fact, it’s usually the other way around.

That should tell you something about ICE. John Morton should have handed his resignation in last night. Or, rather, long before that. But he needs a job and a way to make free booty call trips to the galpal in New York.

America . . . Desperate But NOT Serious.

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362 Responses

Hopefully one of the shots hit something important.

pat on February 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Ben Dover – I admire your loyalty to INS, but facts are hard to fight. Here is what the LA Times said about Garcia’s ridiculous lawsuit against the LAPD: “After the case went to trial last week, Real [Judge] dismissed all of Butler’s claims. He also dismissed Garcia’s claims of false arrest and told the jury they could decide only whether the LAPD used excessive force and owed Garcia compensatory damages. The jury took less than one day to find in favor of the LAPD.”

It was a frivolous lawsuit by two INS agents who had a problem with authority. One of the INS agents is deceased; the other has been terminated. Spin it all you want – those are the facts.

Jim Davis on February 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Judge Manuel L. Real is a notoriously erratic judge, frequently reversed by the higher courts. Garcia was lucky Judge Real let any part of the case go to the jury.

    Anon on February 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    You spin it any way you want Jim Davis, Garcia had a boot mark photographed on his neck. And, his crime was trying to alert the Rampart cops that they were arresting his agent who’s crime was having expired plates on his g-ride. There were working a card case and the agent Shawn Butler was part of the most successful card group ever with one bust at 2 million fake greencards and social security cards.

    I understand that you are taking what the LA Times says about the case but they had a righteous contention with the LAPD, The Chief at the time Bernard Parks went to the INS DIstrict Director and the two of them conspired to put pressure on the agents to just forget it. The real problem wasn’t Garcia or Butler, it was Rampart in those days, total loose canons. My friend even considered leaving for a park ranger job during those dark days. He eventually made Captain, what does that say? Well, things got pretty bad for while with many agencies trying to do their jobs in LA.

    Ben Dover on February 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Did Garcia live in Murietta? That’s 80 miles from Long Beach. A long commute like that could make a man snap.

Also, CBS ran an online interview with Garcia’s “wife” Balbina Garcia. But the Riverside County court records show their divorce was final in March 2010.

Anon on February 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Jim Davis:

I agree with you. In doing some research about the 1999 LAPD incident it was stated that Garcia immediately became aggressive, spewing profanities as he arrived at the scene where LAPD and Garcia’s co-worker, Shawn Butler, were. Garcia then assaulted a police office and was arrested.

That the lawsuit failed says a lot considering how liberal the Los Angeles jury would be, and how negatively viewed LAPD was post Rodney King.

The lightning-fast anger response, followed by violence by Garcia at the incident in 1999 seems eerily similar to the recent event.

Shame on INS for not taking the correct action and firing Garcia; if they had Garcia would be alive today.

King David on February 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    King David,

    Shame on the INS for not registering their government cars, mine had four year old tags that didn’t even belong to that maker. Ever work Rampart, McArthur Park? Talk to a friend that works undercover there for the bureau and he’ll tell you about being roughed-up. The problem is that as a street cop you have to go on your partner’s initial take, which in this case was wrong. So the two of them jacked Butler up and Garcia when he arrived, unfortunate. I wouldn’t have sued them but I didn’t get my shoulder wrecked and a boot on my neck, either. The convictions of the Rampart officers and well document complaints from a variety of agencies showed a station out-of-control. I had no problem with them but I wasn’t black or hispanic either. I told friends not to introduce me anymore because in those days it was difficult even to talk to these guys, the LASO was much easier then to deal with.

    Ben Dover on February 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Kozac had Garcia and the document fraud group in his cross-hair ever since they were force to transfered to the L.B. office. The L.B. office, by far is the worst place to work within SAC/LA; i worked there for three years.

eric on February 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I was just reading the court docket (which is a public record) for Ezequiel and Balbina Garcia’s divorce case in the Riverside County Superior Court. The one-day trial was held on March 5, 2010. Mr. Garcia (who by that time did not have a lawyer) emailed the wife’s lawyer the day before and said he wasn’t showing up. The couple was divorced that day. Mr. Garcia was ordered to pay $3,000 a month in child and spousal support. He was ordered to pay his ex-wife more than $40,000 to compensate her for her community property interests and her legal fees. He was allowed to keep his gun collection and gun safe.

Mr. Garcia can live his life any way he wants, but I find it inexcusable that a law enforcement officer elects to not participate in an important legal proceeding with his wife of 14 years, with whom he had children. The court docket shows he also did not comply with the pretrial discovery procedures, requiring him to provide information to his wife’s lawyer. Again, not a good position for a man to take who is supposedly sworn to uphold the law.

They were divorced on March 5, 2010. But yesterday Balbina Garcia was quoted on CBS and the LA Times talking about her “husband.” Did they re-marry? If not, she probably lacks standing to pursue a wrongful death case (although the children have standing).

Likewise, since they were divorced, there was nothing holding him to Murietta. He could have/should have moved someplace much closer to Long Beach to avoid the 160 mile roundtrip commute. He could always see his kids on his days off. (The court order of March 5, 2010 gave him visitation with the kids on weekends.) Maybe if he had a shorter drive to work, he would have been in a better frame of mind, and also a more productive ICE worker.

A: On the contrary, I have learned through sources close to Ezequiel Garcia that Zeke Garcia moved back in with his ex-wife and his sons in Murietta and they were very close to being remarried. They were definitely back together. However, although I am not licensed to practice law in California, I believe that you are indeed correct about her lack of standing. I believe the Lee Marvin/Michelle Triola decision still stands in California, and that case said that there is not only no palimony in California, but also would seem to hold no rights for non-married partners in a relationship. DS

Anon on February 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm


    Are you retarded. What the he’ll does Garcia divorce records have to do with anything. You should smack yourself. And have some respect a man just got killed and your searching for his divorce records. That’s so sad I feel sorry for u.

    Respect on February 21, 2012 at 1:51 am

DD Kibble and EAD Dinkins,

I in no way condone the actions of Garcia. No sane individual would. My heart goes out to all of the families involved. This should have never happened. Something set him off and the cause needs to be investigated by a non-bias or outside group.

With that being said, I have never heard a bad word about either of you. You are what ICE needs. DD Kibble, you came fom a background of, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” Unfortunately, I have personal knowledge of ICE covering up lies, perjury, and false statements. Until this agency has zero tolerance for lies, retaliation, hostile work environment perpetrated by management, etc., then this agency will always face possible tragic incidents such as what occurred last week.

I implore you to do what is right and take immediate action when necessary (regardless of rank) to ensure ICE has a long and prosperous future as a federal law enforcement agency.

BUBBA7 on February 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm

We all lose. I hope john morton or kumar kimble (who I trust) looks at the leadership style. Kimble was a west point graduate and a ranger in the regular army. He knows what right looks like. He knows how to lead rather than manage. We need leaders who understand people are involved rather than the BS “managers” we now have.

End of the day we all lose. I dont care who we were; INS or Customs. Now we are all one team now. Bad leadership is bad leadership and I just hope we figure this out before it happens again.

Ziek, I miss you and I will see you in my dreans again tonight. You were a good man and anything I can do for your family please let me know.

fr3ed on February 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Not having worked for Mr. Kozak, I cannot attest to his management skills or for that matter his lack of management skills. Kozak has been referred to as being abusive. Did Kozak beat his Agents with whips? Did he lock them in dungeons? Did he banish them to far away places? Did he starve them (or their families)?

How many employees have been fired by Kozak? How many employees have been suspended by Kozak? How many employees have had their weapons taken away by Kozak? How many Agents have had their government vehicles taken away?

With all of the allegations made about Kozak, I have not heard one person identify anything he did that was abusive. Is the abuse that he is being accused of the fact that he is holding employees accountable??????

Making an employee do is his job is not being abusive. The problems in the LA Office appear to have been caused by the management officials prior to Kozak who allowed a handful of self pitying Agents to become spoiled brats.

Truthful on February 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Truthful, I hope you are speaking for youself and former “cool blue” Los Angeles agents beause INS Los Angels was probably one of the most work intensive and politically sensitive Federal LEO jobs in the Government. It was a virtual meat grinder.

Anon the Garcias were apparently attempting to salvage their marriage. You guys appear to be stooping pretty low, spinning a dead man’s divorce papers, grasping at straws, attempting to dirty up Zeke. King David everytime you post you reveal more ignorance. A frivolous lawsuit is one that is not accepted for trial. Zeke lawsuit did. Shame on you for only reporting the oppostion’s side of the case when a dead man cannot defend himself.

I’ve Been There experienced the back the stabbing anti-INS cheap shots at ICE/SAC/Long Beach, and I have known Zeke for at least 20 years, mostly working as an INS Special Agent, Los Angeles. I have reported what I have seen and experienced.

Now that we’ve seen theand one sided/biased investigative technniques of Legacy Customs agents, I’ll leave it up to the unbiased, independent, professional finders of facts, and God, to determine what extent, if any, Kozak brought this upon himself. Likewise I’ll leave to unbiased professioanls to determine what extent, if any Zeke, may have been predisposed to violence. I presume he has already met his Maker.

May God help his soul and spare his family too much grief and hardship.

Been There on February 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm

All of you, like Pat and others, who insinuate in any way that 1. Kozak deserved this, 2. was the cause of Garcia”s attempt to murder him, and 3. contunue to say Garcia was always a nice guy and wouldn’t do this w/o provocation from Kozak, should resign, because these ideas can only be drawn from demented and sick minds. You are bullies who gang up on anyone who tries to make you earn your pay.

There are plenty of hardworking, returning vets who are in need of your jobs, so do the responsible and right thing and turn your guns/badges in so ICE can hire those who are committed to protecting our nation.

JR on February 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    JR, so ICE can hire open-minded, unbiased, investigators just like you?

    Given the facts that we know in this case, if you believe that Zeke went into to see Kozak to commit premeditated murder, then please allow me to suggest that YOU go get YOUR head examined.

    Been There on February 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Since when is the special agent in charge not possession of his service weapon when in his office at the field office? How come nobody is asking where Kozak’s weapon was at the time of the shooting? Did he leave atl home? If so, why? Did he leave it in his car? If so, why? did he leave it in the bathroom? Did he leave it on the microwave oven in the break room?

Did he have it in his desk drawer in front of him? If so, then he wasn’t “unarmed.”

If Zeke wanted to kill an unarmed man, you don’t shoot him 6 times in the manner that has been reported. You shoot six times when the other guy has a gun too.

So where was Kozak’s gun when this went down?

LAS ICE on February 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm

LAS ICE & Been There …please stop posting…you continue to embarrass yourselves..

patria1 on February 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Been There, if in fact you have been there why can’t you give any examples of Kozak’s abuse? Is he responsible for making you wear a tie? Did he enforce the 30 minute lunch? What atrocities did he commit? All I keep hearing from you is rhetoric. Your buddy Zeke attempted to kill another person. You insinuate that Kozak prompted or teased him into doing it. Tell me what bad things Kozak has done. Be truthful (no pun intended)

Truthful on February 20, 2012 at 12:14 am

LAS ICE. You are an idot

Truthful on February 20, 2012 at 12:17 am

I already did and I am sure that unbiased professional fct finders will find plenty more examples of anti)egacy bias, proLegacy Customs favoratism, discriminatory job and case assignments. Its all there for any unbiased fact finder to harvest in truckloads.

But if anyone wants a taste of the raw nerve, the anti-INS hate andfilling bias, – all they have to do is read these comments by obviously Legacy Customs agents. Look what they did in the Johnston case, actually fabricated documentaion and lied about in a Grand Jury…ICE/ OPR is stacked with them…

Ever since the FBI hijacked Green Quest there has been a virtual anti FBI war. I’ve sat in case meetings where the whole day was spent devising ways to limit cooperation with the FBI, and the hell with progressing the investigation, actually catching bad guys.

So the FBI will have iits hands full getting any unbiased cooperation in this case.

Once again I thank all o you for Legacy Customs agents for revealing and exposing this raw nerve of anti-INS hate and bias in your remarks and your analysis of this case, even dead man’s divorce papers.

Once again I do not believe that KoZak deserved to be injured/wounded. But on the other hand, its kind of like driving recklessly. Sooner or later if you push the envelope too far, things might break loose and go out of control.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 7:08 am

Finally folks yyou have good leaders like Kumar Kibble, Fred Walsh with natural ability who I would follow through the gates of hell. Then you have people who have kissed ass into postions of power (we know which ones) who mistake coercive, abusive chickenshit and abuse as leadershipthe techniques and who love to subordinateshow to grovel and kiss assjust like them, and they groom other weak ass kissers just to like themselves, and perpetuate a whole office of lousy leadership.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 7:27 am


If you believe that making people wear ties and take 30too minute lunch breaks is demonstrating leadership then you have had a deprived existencee and have never experienced the driveand enthusiasm and motivation and inspiration of having a good leader. Youu have only known chickenshit.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 7:32 am


If the taxpayer wants to learn about what’s really wrong with ICE, all they have to do is read this chain of comments. Not because of the great factual evidence provided (there is none); but for the biased, selfish, insensitive, ignorant, speculative trash that it contains.

One guy’s dead. One guy’s shot to pieces. One guy has a heavy burden to bear for the rest of his life. Those are the only facts in public view right now.

You think you make things BETTER with this nonsense? Got news for you: this is the very crap that’s been holding us back for the last ten years.

Leadership begins with followership. Leaders are only as good as the men and women they’re tasked with leading.

I’m just sayin’…

WikiSnix on February 20, 2012 at 7:44 am

Nothing irritates me more than when I hear the legacy crap that should have gone away years ago.

INS did not require 1811’s to have college degrees. Many agencies still do not require college degrees (ATF). Many agencies will allow you to substitute experience for education (USMS, DEA, USSS, ect…). Customs was the same; you needed a college degree, but could substitute experience.

Customs 1811’s worked every bit as hard as their peers in INS and every other federal agency.

Anyone who is stupid enough to label whole groups of agents as lazy or incompetent because of where they came from is a fool. Every agency has its workers and slugs. Every agency has misfits, malcontents, and outright corrupt agents.

Right now at FLETC are whole classes of agents from other agencies becoming ICE 1811s. It has been a few years since any of my co-workers left to go to another agency. This tells me that things are getting better.

The immigration mission in and of it is a loser. The politicians have screwed it up, and we were left holding the leaky bag of $hit. This administration has pretty much shut down immigration enforcement. Not that previous administrations were much better.

Lets stop bashing each other and start appreciating the experience and abilities we all bring to the fold. Lets turn our collective anger on those that deserve it such as the politicians, the cartels, and king david.

Vato is it penal or penile implant?

Wraith on February 20, 2012 at 8:29 am

Truthful your name is deceptive in itself. Aren’t you the one who declared, zero evidence notwithstanding, Zeke committed premeditated murder? And there is no anti-INS bias? Bullshit! This whole thread is chock full of it.

Wraith and WikiSnix if you want to hear the soothing “company line” about what happened and what is happening then go into your office and graze on “Virtual University” all day long. Sorry guys but real life is not what you see in your dreams. A Legacy-INS supervisor who had great leadership potential is dead. Everywhere there are reports of Koazak’s abusive syle, complaints filed all over the place. He has been ID’d by DS right here as an INS Hater. Is DS lying too?

With “Investifators” like you gguys no wonder the FBI can hiJack all the good work.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 9:18 am

How can Been There be correct about Kibble and Walsh who many would agree are what ICE needs more of, and yet so wrong abot Kozak and Garcia??? Kozak is much like these men who expect integrity from their staff!

JR on February 20, 2012 at 9:20 am

BTW, people on here need to quit saying his long commute to/from Murrieta/Long Beach may have set him off. There are multiple, honorable agents (some are former INS) who do this commute and have done it for years-they may not like it, but they show up every day w/o complaining and are very respected agents. Some of these have also worked for Kozak and get along well w/him and he w/them, so quit throwing juvenile statements into the writing.

It’s time to grow up and just do the job. Even you think your commute is too long, you don’t want a professional dress code, you want limited lunch time, you want to work 9 to 3, go find another job.

JR on February 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

Been There – you are a whiner. You talk about Kozak being abusive and yet give no examples. My kids are more honest than you! At least when I ask them why they are crying they respond!!!

It appears that the only thing Kozak did to you was hold you accountable. Stop referring to Legacy INS or Legacy Customs as the reason for problems at ICE. The real reason for problems is cry-babies like yourself who whine and whine for no reason.

Stop whining and do your job.

Truthful on February 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

Truthful, is “whining” the sound people make when their loved one or 20 year buddy is dead? And especially when he has died under questioonable circumstances? Then YES I am whing.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

I once worked for ICE in Texas and was former INS and the merge was hell. We (INS) personnel walked around with targets on our backs. I had a great INS Supervisor and then when we merged the former customs supervisor in Virginia was good and then we got stuck with a former customs supervisor in Virginia that was a POS. And then it just continued to sprial out of control. I loved my job and had a great time but the general thoughts of the former customs guys were “I did not join to be an Immigration Agent”. Told them go somerwhere else if your not part of the solution your part of the problem. Then I took a transfer to HELL thats right the TEXMEX border or some would say southern Texas but really its northern Mexico and the supervisor (former customs) i had there for a couple of years seemed ok but then he showed his true colors, if you did not kiss his ass then the claws came out. 99 percent of the office and other ICE offices in that area could not stand him and even his own family members that worked in ICE could not stand him. And when I needed backing and support he stabbed me in the back. Hopefully he and his cronies in the office will soon retire and he and them should have been fired or transferred a long time ago. He weaseled his way out of transfers and stayed there for many years and since he is of hispanic background he seemed to play favorites and discriminated against the white agents. I have never seen so many agents want outta there and transfer as soon as possible. He cost me alot and then we got a new agent in charge in Virginia and i had a chance to transfer but was not part of the “CLICK” of former customs people so i got juiced. And the one employee that got promoted becuase of his wife’s status with ICE and because he has his nose stuck up Mortons ass is a shame. ICE and Homeland Security is a joke and i know from first hand. They all need to be fired and cleaned out but that will never happen. I understand and know what many agents and other personnel are going thru with ICE or HSI or whatever they will call themselves. There are alot of good people their its just the management is screwed up. There are no LEADERS in ICE/HSI/Homeland Security, just people wanting to screw others and make fake names for themselves. “Managers do things right, Leaders do the right thing”

Cruiser 1957 on February 20, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I guess INS Agents fail to remember that after the merger INS people took over the Agency? I guess INS Agents forget that DRO’s(bus drivers with a gun) blew millions of dollars and became the high priority of the ICE bosses? I guess INS agents forget that they are no longer union? I guess INS Agents forget when the merger happened they failed to answer pages and duty calls after 5pm. or weekends? I guess INS Agents forgot how to make a criminal case since they never did one before? I guess INS Agents forgot all the grades they got? And the all powerful INS Agents forgot they have to work now!!!!! Someone remind them and its not alright to shot an Agent because they can’t take disciplinary action! Garcia should be dead! NO EXCUSE FOR HIS ACTION!

    PTVAL on February 20, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Been There

Read my post, I am not a company guy. I do/did not know any of the three individuals involved in this event. I applaud you looking out for your friend. I have heard nothing but good things about Garcia prior to this incident. However, nothing can justify what he did. My belief is that he was being harassed by a manger. Anyone who has been around a while has been there. I recall an INS manager who absolutely harassed the former Customs guys who worked for him. I’ve seen it both ways. I blame the leadership from the SAC on down. If they did not see the situation developing between two mangers, they should have. If they did and did nothing they are equally at fault. We all know that the government in general has a high proportion of poor managers. Many government supervisors see themselves as managers, not leaders. This will not change and is not unique to ICE. Who can pickup and move every three years, especially in this housing market? People who cannot maintain a marriage or relationship. People like this often are miserable jerks, who like to spread the misery. I don’t know what the solution is; because I also believe agents need to experience different offices and HQ.

To the others out there, if you think being a hard working and dedicated agent will spare you of being in Garcia’s position someday. You are wrong; a day will come when you will have a boss that does not like you. It may be one of the office slugs or malcontents gets the promotion and resents you for you achievements, or the comments you have thrown their way over the years.

If you are so blinded by the legacy crap that you do not have your coworker’s back because they came from INS or Customs leave before you get someone hurt or killed. The bad guys don’t care about your background. We are in this together.

Oh yeah to the managers out there, take your VU class that will come out of this and shove it. Lead don’t manage, you will get better results from a workforce who is loyal to you rather than afraid of you.

Wraith on February 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    For everyone; continuing to label this as a “legacy” problem just confuses the issue.
    Nobody deserves being shot for being an ass. And mental, verbal abuse, demeaning and disrespecting your juniors is not leadership in any acceptable form.
    SAIC LA has continued to allow and foster poor leadership. Managers in LA, scream at juniors in front of their peers, make baseless accusations, and don’t understand the laws they are supervising. This applies no matter which legacy agency these managers came from, this is strictly an ICE/HSI problem, the managers who are rewarded are the ones are the ones who follow the company line. Their behavior is accepted as part of getting the job done. If you disrespect and demean people in public or in front of their peers you are not going to foster loyalty, morale or work incentive. Sometimes even good people make mistakes which require disciplinary action. Most people accept discipline when they know they’ve made a mistake and know they are being treated fairly.
    HSI’s focus is not on enforcing the law; it’s about generating numbers and looking good. That is how you move up, not leadership ability or technical ability. If you bend the rule, generate numbers and don’t get caught you’re a good employee. People in SAIC LA are not going to provide specifics to justify their statements in this or any other forum they know that every situation is common knowledge and they fear reprisal and ridicule. Any truthful person in SAIC LA would know this to be fact.

    Tired on February 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Wraith ICustoms do notis call Kozakyourselves and INSthe hater. DS did. I did not call Kozak abusive, but about 5 of the other commenters, above, did. I did overhear Kozak seemingly gloating to athe Legacy Customs ASAC that he did not arrange for bonuses to be awarded to 2 INS managers.

I knew all 3 and I worked under all 3. I’ve Been There and I suspect that Zeke was put through a lot more than most or any other Legacy Customs manager. That is my only speculation. But whatever “it” was, “it”was enough to make a nice reasonable guy want to kill another man. Was it justified, no way. But we are only human and have our limits that we can tolerate.

I am not blinded by anything. I have been there and listened to the same anti-INS BS that we see repeatedin over and over in this thread for years. The “cool blues” under Kozak were flagrant.

You, yourself, have even debunked the anti-INS allegations being made. I hate it and have called for an end to it in this thread too. But it continues to surface. It is the Legacy Customs default fall back position.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

Everyone agrees that the merger of INS and Customs was ill conceived, a disaster from day one. The agents had nothing in common and worked together less than any two federal investigative agencies. As a Customs agent in Dallas for 20 year, I worked cases with DEA, FBI,Secret Service, U.S. Marshall’s, many IG offices and state and local agencies. I NEVER worked a case with INS and did not know a single INS agent. The few times that I worked with INS, it was with a plain clothes branch of the Border Patrol based in Euless, not INS investigations. Customs agents were not concerned about the immigration status of suspects. Right or wrong, it simply was not part of our culture. In spite of what the general public and politicians thought, the mission of INS and Customs investigations never crossed paths. The cultures could not have been more different. Imagine devout Jews and a Muslims being forced to merge into one big happy “religion”. It’s not going to work, even if you give it a million years.

ICE management knew this too. Their solution to the problems was to a) run off as many legacy agents as possible b) hire thousands of young, pure ICE agents. Once you turned 50 you had to go, 57 was no longer an option unless you were in management. When I retired 3 new agents were hired to replace me. The resident agent in Tyler was pressured to retire and he was replaced with 4 agents. Eight years after the merger, over half the agents are “pure ICE”. But it will take over a decade to “cleanse” the agency completely. Does anyone think ICE or HSI or whatever name it has a decade from now, is going to be respected in twenty years? The dysfunctional culture of ICE is in it genes. None of us will live long enough for it to work.

Bonzer Wolf on February 20, 2012 at 11:38 am

Been There

I will attempt to debunk the BS from both sides. You have stood up for your friend. I will never agree with his choice. It is such a waste. We have a DSAC who is badly wounded, an ASAC who will carry a burden for the rest of his life, and a GS who is dead. All this almost a year to the day when we buried one of our own who died at the hands of the cartels. Our fight needs to be with them, not each other. As a former INS guy I see what you are saying, but as a former Customs guy I see that you were flinging some of your own BS. Too me two sides of the same coin. Now mix in the $hit mongers like king DB and the stupidity continues.

Wraith on February 20, 2012 at 11:40 am

This is Anon, the guy who posted information from the Garcias’ divorce file. I am not part of ICE. I have never worked for any government agency, so please leave me out of your finger-pointing games.

I have lived and worked in Southern California for almost my entire adult life. It sounds like Mr. Garcia made a “lifestyle choice” to live in a semi-rural community far away from his job. That was a very poor decision on his choice, especially if he was management level and he had a manager above him who expected his staff to work a full day, and not leave early “to beat the traffic.” Do not underemphasize this point. How many of us wouldn’t snap if we had to deal with an ex-wife, $3000 a month in support payments (taken directly out of his check), 3 or 4 hours of commuting for every shift, and an incredibly demanding job. If Mr. Garcia had just sucked it up and moved his family to Long Beach, or Lakewood, or Cerritos, maybe he would have had more control over his life, he be a happier person, and he’d still be alive today.

Anon on February 20, 2012 at 11:52 am


To be fair, you entered the fray of your own accord.

Wraith on February 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I do not agree with Zeke’s choice but question what got him to that point. You would too if you knew the man.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Anon Garcia was assigned to Laguna Niguel. He was then forced to move to Long Beach. Big addition to his daily commute.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Bonzer Wolf, The FBI Upper Management will extract a heavy price to “whitewash” this one for DHS/ICE. I can see the press the release now, “Disgruntled Employee Blah blah blah.” Not a word about what really pushed Zeke over the edge…….

Good bye Strategic, good bye Cornerstone…

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm

In defense of Kozak, he is an excellent agent and also an attorney and was at one point assigned to an AUSA’s office, as a special assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuting cases. He was very demanding, but got numerous successful prosecutions. When you are dealing with criminals at the federal level, any level, you have to bring your “A” game if you want to succeed. The same is true for a federal agent. That was at a time when the merger with Immigration wasn’t even on the horizon.

I don’t know about him as a supervisor, but I would venture to say that perhaps he was also demanding at that level.

But when an agent accepts that new GS-13/14 pay, they also have to accept the GS 13/14 responsibility. Garcia was not the first agent to be forced transferred, there are many careers ended or enhanced because of a forced transfer.

Judging from many of the posts here, agents are yearning for “leadership”, and are not getting it from the agency. There are many managers, but very few leaders.

There is no longer an esprit de corps, camaraderie, or sense of mission at DHS/ICE/HSI, thast is something that Customs did have, especially during the cocaine cowboy, DEA Agent Enrique Camarena days of the 80’s, 90’s, and up until the merger.

It has been destroyed because of the merger. A lot of Immigration agents claim that they were kicking butt, knocking down doors, prosecuting re-entries, etc. And that is fine. But my experience is that they were never available after 3:00 pm during the work week, never on weekends, maybe it was their union thing. And that is why they were never expected to have their GS level bumped up to a 13. All of that work is great, but it minor leaque, Customs work was the Major Leagues now. As silly as it may sound; Google Customs, agents and you’ll see examples of major criminal cases, and books written by or mentioning Customs agents. I haven’t seen any mentioning Immigration, other than, lately, one of those worksite enforcement roundups that sound good but behind the scenes, and after the fact, nothing is done in most of them except a mitigated monetary fine.

It is apparent that DHS/ICE/HSI has been transformed in a wimp agency, a “Paper Tiger” lots of authority on paper, but in actuality, mostly ineffective.

Too many Clowns with no experience, other than going to that training session and then coming back to their office as an “expert” in their field; positions such as Chief of Staff being created for inexperienced, and lying Clowns that think passing hand warmers to agents working is a display of their caring leadership style. And then most of these Clowns, not all, aggressively bully agents in a domineering, authoritarian, demeaning “management” style; “do as I say, not as I do”.

When there are no “bad guys” to go after, or the agency doesn’t let you, the agents start turning on themselves with gossip, innuendos, jealousy, personal vendettas. This is what happens when “management” expects their agents to be at their desks, in the comfort of a climate controlled environment, and on the internet. There may be some leadership at the HQ level, but it sure ain’t being filtered down to the SAC level.

QTD on February 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    QTD-I don’t know where you worked,but I can tell you INS agents worked long days and nights-there slackers alright,but they turn up everywhere.
    At one point when I was in Anti-Smuggling I had a stretch of nine weeks without a day off.
    I’m an old guy now and have no reason to make things up-my wife of over 41 years tells people our marriage lasted so long because she never saw me enough for us to get on each others’ nerves.
    I never ducked an after hours call-I actually liked my job.
    I miss the job and then I read stuff like what is being said here and I guess I wouldn’t much like it these days.
    I’ve been out over 15 years and still hang out with my old supervisor now and then because he was a good boss-no favoritism and he knew what each person was good at and pointed them in that direction.
    I liked breaking in new agents and seeing them develope their skills.
    Twice I was held at gunpoint by Chicago PD in situations that were resolved because I kept my wits about me-in neither case was there any fault on the part of the police nor myself,and no resultant problems.
    Having a steady job nowadays,particularly one with a low boredom factor(I was NEVER bored)is a real plus in life.
    I hope this incident gets the investigation it deserves.

    Joe on February 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm


Good post, I will say that the INS guys always looked around at 6:30 AM wondering where the Customs guys where. When I went to Customs my GS told me not to come in so early, but expected me to stay later.

All agencies have agents who are big leaguers and agents that should never have left the farm leagues.

Wraith on February 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Wraith – INS guys came in a 6:30AM…oh yes…so they could leave at 3PM and make that long commute without hassles. Um…U.S. Atty’s office is not open at that time….nor is anyone else in since office hours are normally 0830-1700…

    patria1 on February 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm

You will soon see another round of managers in the offices with very little leadership experience. The large hiring push of 2001-2002 will soon be leaving DC for the field. Many of them took positions in DC to get them out of where they were. Many of them had 5-7 years as an agent when they got promoted to HQ. Now they have 8-11 yrs on with little investigative or leadership experience. Lots of single agents with no kids/homes were able to up and move when others were not due to the market I’m not knocking them, just putting the info out there.

I will caveat that by saying some of those agents do have the experience and leadership skills necessary to be great for our agency. Some have skills from previous employment, and some have military command experience.

The key to successful leadership is Influence…not authority.


East Side ICE on February 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm


6:30 AM or earlier is when arrests are made, not endless meetings at the AUSA’s Office.

Wraith on February 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Wraith – then you should be working at ERO – a much better fit as your response indicates. Enough said….

    patria1 on February 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm

The above dialogue is healthy. However, all of us will notice that there are only a handful of participants taking part in the dialogue. Most of whom have an ax to grind as being associated with either Garcia or Kozak. What you may not have noticed is that the majority of Agents within LA and throughout the US are not discontent with the Agency. They appreciate the generous salary that they are receiving as well as the benefits of having a secure and interesting job. They are not jumping ship and going to other Agencies as you would be left to believe by the postings. On the contrary, ICE/HSI has numerous applicants who have placed ICE/HSI on top of their list for entry into Federal enforcement. For those of you who have retired from ICE, be thankful and enjoy your $100,000 + pension. For those of you who are close to retiring start shopping for your final resting place. For those of you who are still working for ICE/HSI and have many years to go before retirement, disregard the rhetoric you are seeing in this blog and continue doing a good job. Learn of the mistakes of those before you. And trust me we have all made mistakes (which no one in these postings seems to want to admit to).

Truthful on February 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm


No I did what my GS requested and started my day later and ending later. You must be such a pleasure to work with. Is you ego so easily bruised? What’s the matter are you afraid they will take your Sonny and Crocket Fan Club Card?

Wraith on February 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Hey Wraith – the only fear I have is of delusional folks like you that I have had to work with and tolerate. Once again you have to either insult or resort to phrases that relate to violence. These postings should be a case study for what ails HSI/ICE. Bronzer Wolf stated it the best….we just don’t mix…never will.

    patria1 on February 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Nice post Truthful. We have it pretty good right now. There are a lot of agents looking to lateral into ICE. If things are so bad, why is that?

I have to admit, I do enjoy throwing gas on guys like Patria and King David. They are so blinded by hate they are easy to stir up.

I’ll see you kids at work tomorrow. Hope everyone enjoyed the three day weekend.

Wraith on February 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Truthful, I believe you have lost touch with reality.

Please allow me to remind you are posting comments under a News Headline by Debbie Schlussel entitled, “ICE Agents: “Shooting No Surprise.”

ICE employees recently rated their own agency at number 222 out of 240 US Government agencies. Given the fact that no one was surprised by the shooting of Kozak, plus, the fact that ICE employees rate ICE near rock bottom, how can you seriously state that, “…the majority of Agents within LA and throughout the US are not discontent with the Agency.”

That is pure 24K carat bullshit. Combined that with your earlier declarartion that Zeke committed premediatated attempted murdeer, and that asking questions about the circumstances of the shooting of an old friend was “whining,” you richly deserve and qualify for my award of the “Equestrian Posterior.”

Did it ever occur to anyone that folks aren’t “jumping ship” because the U.S. is in the worst Recession ande Unemployment crisis in it’s history and all of the Government agencies and Police Forces are cutting budgets and are not hiring?

Zeke isn’t evn buried yet and you are stating how wonderful things are at ICE/LA. Get with it Truthful, pull your head out of your ass and look around. Your monicker “truthful” reminds of the nick names we used to give kids, like someone fat would be called “skinny.”

You are anything but truthful.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm

First of all Zeke Garcia was promoted to Group Supervisor in 2004. There are no reports that Zeke shot Kozak because he was discontent about his transfer to Long Beach. As far as we know he asked for a transfer, period. Maybe Kozak’s response was a little too “cute” or insulting to Zeke. We do not know.

Secondly, QTD’s ongoing, irrepressible anti-INS remarks reinforce my case that an anti-INS bias exists in the ICE Office of Los Angeles. In this case he blames INS agents for lack of esprit de corps, camaraderie, or sense of mission at DHS/ICE/HSI. QTD states the reason is that INS casework was “Minor League” and Customs work was, “Major League.” Also QTD states that it is his, “experience is that they were never available after 3:00 pm during the work week, never on weekends, maybe it was their union thing.”
This is flat out bullshit. Los Angeles INS Agents worked around the clock. the INS Office, Los Angeles was probably the most work intensive, and politically/culturally sensitive assignment of all federal agencies. I wonder how long QTD’s career would have lasted out on the streets of Los Angeles, dealing with the public as an INS Agent?

How many smuggling loads, hostage and kidnapping, plus, Human Trafficking cases has QTD ever prosecuted? How many police call outs in the middle of the night to handle a hundred and more aliens with their smugglers mixed in?

QTD since you do not have a clue, please refrain yourself from making further demeaning and inflammatory anti-INS statements.

Los Angeles INS Agents worked all hours day and night, around the clock. We did not have hall monitoring Group Supervisors who counted success by the number of ROI’s an agent completes each day. And yes! A lot of the work was brutally mind-numbing. it took endurance and fortitude to make it through a shift which, btw, could last days. We just did it and got it done. INS Los Angeles baby. You betcha! I am very proud of that part of my career. You will never experience the level of esprit de corps, camaraderie, or sense of mission that we had at INS. It was a virtual human meat grinder and if you survived, you were tough.

Zeke survived all of that. handled it all, no problem. In fact he flourished and became a Group Supervisor.

Then we merge into ICE and have Legacy Customs Agents sneering down their noses at us, just as we have seen time and again in this very thread.

Thank you QTD for just another example of this anti-INS snobbery! But you must realize that this snobbery is comprised of inaccurate bullshit and that it is inflammatory and adversarial.

QTD we do not need your bullshit! It is harmful. Don’t you get it yet????

Thank you for admitting at least one true fact: That you do not know about Kozak as a Supervisor. Debbie Schlussel has compiled information from her sources about Kozak as a Supervisor, an INS hater, abusive, and that it came as no surprise that ther was a shooting.

Does that give you a clue about Kozac as a Supervisor?????? Dohhhh!!!

I do partially agree with one of QTD’s point:

Supervisors who had been agents seem to be at a loss and need “Targets” to go after like when they were agents. However some turn on their subordinates as investigative targets, actually treat them like common criminals. Mix that in with this irrepressible anti-INS attitude and it can be a very ugly workplace environment for Legacy INS Agents.

Maybe in this case Kozak went too far in trying to “break” Zeke Garcia as though he were some target in an investigation. But that is speculation on my part.

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Well, folks, you can all stop posting now. The only one sounding-off in here with a grasp of “reality” is Mr. Been There. No one else has ever had a rough time. No one else ever did quality enforcement work. No one else ever suffered like he has. No one else knows anything. Only Mr. Been There.

    It must be a heavy burden indeed to be the only one with knowledge. How hard your life must be, weighted down with all that truth and righteousness!

    Well, Diogenes, we’re all ears. Give us more “reality.” Tell we lesser mortals how you plan to solve all the woes you identify. Enlighten us, oh Precious One.

    I’m only kidding. Don’t really tell us. Most of us just want you to STFU…

    I’m just sayin’…

    WikiSnix on February 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Been There, Wraith, and Pat, you should each highly consider using the EAP that is available to you. Your hate for your peers who are former Customs and your chain of command is hostile.

It is understandable to have erratic emotions after losing a friend, but not healthy to fuel this hate. Your family and your peers will benefit from you finding a healthy avenue to release that which has been revealed by your posts, eg, years of resentment.

I am not being sarcastic-this is said to you by a peer who wants the best for the agency and its personnel

CJA on February 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Realistically, is there a hope in hell of a full court, congressional hearing into ICE over this incident?

If so, you people need to stand up for whatever or whoever you believe in, literally. You all need to stand in front of Congress and C-SPAN, and swear to tell the whole truth, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Your ATF brothers did when they found out one of their guns killed a federal agent.

Time to man up and take whatever happens, be it retaliation or retirement.

Ex-1811 on February 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Cja and Wikisnix, I am not the one posting snobby comments about Customs and the former Customs Mission and Customs agents.

But I have made repeated request for them to abstain from making these inflammatory and inaccurate anti-INS remarks.

Also I reserve the right to correct the demeaning inaccuracies contained in their remarks.

As I have said, if you only want to hear the soothing “company line”about go and graze the Virtual University to your heart’s content.

This is a comment thread about a News article reporting ICE employees rating their agency at 222 out of 240 and not being surprised that Kozak was involved in a workplace shooting.

Its misleading and appears stupid that ICE employees post comments that have no connection with the realities that Debbie Schlussal Schlussal has reported. Its as though they are in some dream world.

But, we can appreciate that you, Truthful nd QTD know which side of your bread is buttered and need to curry favor with the Legacy Customs powers that be. HA!

It never ends…

Been There on February 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm

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