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

Inspector Anthony Oneto was shot and killed after he and his partner arrested four illegal aliens and the man 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 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 was able to return fire and wound 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 October 10, 1948.

Inspector Oneto had served with the agency for six and half years and was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran of World War II and recipient of the Silver Star. 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 Sliver 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

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Oneto: Thanks for your service to this great nation as a Border Patrol Officer and as a hero during WWII. Silver Stars are not awarded very often. Border Patrolmen/women are sometimes taken for granted by some of our current political hacks but your agency and efforts of men/women like you are deeply appreciated by those in the profession (and by most Americans) and we realize men like you keep this great country safe. There is no doubt you were an exceptional Officer and a great American who honor all who came after.

James Lopey, Assistant Sheriff (Ret)
Washoe County Sheriff's Office (Reno, Nevada)
Nevada DPS

March 11, 2020

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