Murdered DEA agent buried in his native Edinburg - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Murdered DEA agent buried in his native Edinburg

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Posted: Tuesday, December 1, 1998 12:00 am

By EDGAR SANDOVAL

EDINBURG Edinburg native and Drug Enforcement Agent Frank Arnold Moreno was

buried Monday at Hillcrest Memorial Park as DEA officials, police officers and

family members paid their last respects to the brave agent.

The Mission Police Department Honor Guard conducted honorary services for

Moreno as his remains were laid to rest.

A lone suspect shot and killed Moreno, 37, a week ago in an entertainment

district north of Bogota, Colombia after an argument in a bar. A U.S. Embassy

official in Colombia said the agent had gone to the bar with a male Colombian

friend and got into an argument with a stranger.

Embassy officials said the shooting occurred after what they called a bar

brawl.

McAllen, Mission and Edinburg police officers along with Department of Public

Safety officials gathered with about 100 area residents, family members and

federal agents at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

We are here to pay respects to a former comrade, but this is a private matter

for the family, said Barry Abbott, agent in charge of the McAllen office.

DEA thanks all the support provided by law enforcement in the Valley.

Family members preferred not to comment.

U.S. Embassy officials in Colombia flew Morenos body to Oklahoma City last

Sunday, where he was stationed before departing to Bogota last January,

Oklahoma City DEA officials said.

Viewing services were held Friday and funeral services took place Saturday in

Oklahoma City. The body was flown to the Rio Grande Valley Monday for

graveside services at the Edinburg cemetery, where his mother was buried some

years ago, officials said.

Dallas DEA Agent-in-Charge Julio Mercado said he will always remember Moreno

as a brave official who conducted his job efficiently.

Moreno had been a DEA agent since 1991 and had spent almost a year on

assignment in Colombia. He had recently married Stacy Moreno, who lives in

Oklahoma City and flew to the Valley for the services.

Moreno was assigned to the Oklahoma City DEA office and was at the Oklahoma

City bombing in April 1995, Mercado said.

Colombian police said they have leads in the murder case. Officials reported a

25-year old Colombian suspect named Jorge Figueroa Monroy surrendered to

authorities Friday at a ranch southwest of Bogota.

Police said Figueroa allegedly shot Moreno after an argument and fled the

scene on a motorcycle. Police are not sure if Monroy knew Moreno was a DEA

agent or if the murder was drug-related.

If found guilty Monroy faces up to 30 years in prison in Colombia.

As far as officials could remember, Moreno was the first Drug Enforcement

Administration agent shot in Colombia since 1982, when two detectives were

wounded in the Caribbean port of Cartagena while investigating marijuana

smuggling.

The DEA has an estimated 50 agents in Colombia, the worlds leading producer

and exporter of cocaine and among the worlds most violent lands with some

27,000 murders a year.

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