Patrol Inspector Ivan E. Scotten

Patrol Inspector Ivan E. Scotten

United States Department of Labor - Immigration Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, July 20, 1929

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Ivan E. Scotten

Patrol Inspector Ivan Scotten was shot and killed when he and other inspectors were ambushed by smugglers near Clint, Texas.

The inspectors had received information that there would be heavy crossings by liquor smugglers and aliens before daybreak on Saturday, July 20th, 1929, in the area of the upper Las Pomas crossing. Three officers confronted a man on horseback who immediately opened fire on them. The officers returned fire as the man fled into Mexico, where he died.

The three officers regrouped, and with three more officers, including Inspector Ivan Scotten, returned to the scene in automobiles. As they arrived they were caught in a cross fire from smugglers concealed on both sides of the road. Inspector Scotten was wounded in the thigh and fell to the ground. The five remaining officers retreated under fire and the smugglers advanced. When the smugglers reached the automobiles they found the wounded Inspector Scotten under the vehicle. He was pulled from under the vehicle and shot at close range in the head. The smugglers stole his pistols, ring, watch, and badge before the other inspectors advanced and forced them back into Mexico.

The case remained unsolved until 1933 when another patrol inspector interrogated two brothers in an unrelated case. The brothers confessed to knowledge that a man had bragged about killing Inspector Scotten and had the officer's pistols and possessions. In 1934, the man, 33, was convicted and sentenced to death. His sentence was commuted to life in prison on February 13, 1936. On May 27, 1947, He was pardoned by Governor Beauford H. Jester and deported to Mexico.

Inspector Scotten had served with the United States Border Patrol for only nine months. He was survived by his parents, two brothers and one sister. He was buried in the Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 9 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Texas
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Paroled in 1947

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Rest in peace Patrol Inspector Scotten.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

July 23, 2020

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