Border Patrol Inspector Anthony L. Oneto

Border Patrol Inspector Anthony L. Oneto

United States Department of Justice - Immigration and Naturalization Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government

End of Watch Tuesday, March 11, 1947

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Anthony L. Oneto

Border Patrol Inspector Anthony Oneto was shot and killed after he and his partner arrested four illegal aliens and the man who was smuggling them through Indio, California. The two inspectors had placed the four aliens in the back seat of their vehicle and instructed the smuggler to drive his own car to the Border Patrol office.

During the drive, the suspect stopped his vehicle on Highway 99 (modern-day Route 111) approximately 55 miles north of Truck Haven and walked back to Inspector Oneto's vehicle, which was following the suspect. The man said something to the inspectors and then produced a .32 caliber handgun and opened fire. Inspector Oneto was killed. Despite being wounded, his partner returned fire and wounded the suspect. The partner also managed to keep custody of the four illegal aliens until assistance arrived.

The suspect was convicted of first-degree and executed in the gas chamber on October 10, 1948.

Inspector Oneto was a United States Coast Guard veteran of WWII and recipient of the Silver Star who had served with the United States Department of Justice - Immigration and Naturalization Service - United States Border Patrol for six and half years. He was survived by his mother and son.

A room at the National Border Patrol Museum in El Paso, Texas, was named in his honor and displays pictures and possessions of Inspector Oneto, including his Silver Star.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 6 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location California
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Executed in 1948

arrest, illegal alien, smuggling

Most Recent Reflection

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From grand daughter you never got to meet of the daughter, Virginia, you never got to meet, you are a true hero. I am proud to tell my children your story and hope one day to get to show them your memorial room in El Paso. I think you would be proud of you daughter who also was a police officer following in the public service foot steps. Wish we could have met.

Laura Coulter

January 11, 2024

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