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Hipolito Acosta

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Hipolito Acosta “served with the United States Navy and then began a distinguished career as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent in Marfa, Texas.  During the next 29 years he served in a variety of positions ranging from a criminal investigator in the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to Officer in Charge of the U.S. Department of Justice in domestic and foreign postings. As the District Director assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Hipolito Acosta was responsible for overseeing all law enforcement operations of the agency throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, a jurisdiction covering forty-two countries.


Most recently, Hipolito Acosta served as District Director of the Office of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services under the Department of Homeland Security in Houston, Texas.  During this time, Hipolito Acosta managed the reorganization of hundreds of employees of the legacy I&NS office into the new model established under the Department of Homeland Security.

Hipolito Acosta is the recipient of many awards, including the Newton-Azrak Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Border Patrol for bravery and heroism in the line of duty as well as recognition from the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals, Secret Service, the Department of Justice, U.S. Customs and other federal agencies.  He was responsible for infiltrating and breaking up some of the most notorious alien smuggling, drug trafficking and counterfeit document vending operations encountered by the U.S. government during his career.  His success in these endeavors have been featured on ABC News Nightline with Ted Koppel, Fox News Latino, 48 Hours, Univision Television and other national news programs.”  Hipolito Acosta is the author of The Shadow Catcher: A U.S. Agent Infiltrates Mexico's Deadly Crime Cartels.


According to the book description of The Shadow Catcher: A U.S. Agent Infiltrates Mexico's Deadly Crime Cartels, “Living under an assumed identity and risking his life were all in a day’s work for U.S. Government Agent Hipolito Acosta. He worked regularly in high-stakes undercover operations infiltrating Mexico’s murderous immigrant smuggling rings and drug cartels. 

 Acosta’s investigations are legendary, both inside law enforcement and the crime cartels he helped neutralize. He had himself smuggled from Mexico to Chicago with a truckload of poor immigrants; worked his way into the confidences of a gang of international counterfeiters; socialized with some of Mexico’s most vicious drug lords; arrested a female smuggler by luring her across the U.S. border for an amorous rendezvous; and was the target of multiple murder plots by the criminals he put in jail. For three decades, Hipolito Acosta’s work routinely made national headlines, and he quickly gained a reputation as a daring crime fighter who used his intelligence and audacity to stay one step ahead of those who would kill him if his cover were ever blown.


Acosta’s stories read like chapters from a page-turning crime novel, but The Shadow Catcher is more than a front-seat ride through the criminal underworld along the U.S./Mexico border. This heartbreaking exposé goes beyond sensational headlines and medals of honor to divulge what an agent endures in order to ensure that U.S. law is enforced and to reveal the unseen human side of illegal immigration.”

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