EXCLUSIVE — The federal law enforcement agent killed by drug smugglers off the coast of Puerto Rico Thursday has been identified internally as Michel Maceda, according to a written notice from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official that was sent to select employees and shared with the Washington Examiner.
A short memo sent to federal agents from an unnamed senior official within U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Thursday afternoon reads, “It is with a heavy heart that I notify you that [Marine Interdiction Agent] Michel Maceda has passed away.”
A CBP Air and Marine Operations agent, Maceda, 44, was fatally shot Thursday morning during an interdiction of narcos smuggling drugs by boat.
The notice goes on to identify the other two gunshot victims as MIA Jorge Santiago and MIA Mark Lamphere. The senior official shared he had spoken with Santiago on Thursday and that he was in stable condition. Lamphere was in stable but critical condition.
“Out of respect for the family’s wishes, at this time U.S. Customs and Border Protection is not publicly releasing the name of the agent who died,” said CBP spokesman Jeffrey Quinones in an email Friday afternoon.
Maceda had homes in Miami and Cochise County, Arizona, according to public records. He was an avid fisher and had obtained five fishing permits in Florida over the past decade.
Several of Maceda’s family members in South Florida were unable to be reached Friday morning.
CBP’s acting Commissioner Troy Miller announced the death and injuries of three agents Thursday.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has not released a statement on social media or the department’s website. He mentioned the incident in a Senate hearing Thursday after Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) brought up the attack.
Mayorkas’s spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa tweeted a comment he made during the hearing.