Federal investigation clears Alaska Highway border guard of pointing gun at Boy Scout

Dermot Cole

A $19,000 Homeland Security investigation into whether a U.S. agent stationed at the Alaska Highway border crossing pointed a gun at an Iowa Boy Scout has cleared the agent.

"All investigative leads have been pursued and exhausted," Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth said in a press release. "Based on the investigation to date, we do not believe any CPB  (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) personnel acted inappropriately. The allegation appears to be unsubstantiated."

Officials with the Inspector General's office traveled to several states, including Alaska, to conduct interviews.

The agency reviewed videos and talked to adults with the group and the agents, and found no proof to back up the gun claims, which the Boy Scout leader said came from "several Scouts." The Boy Scout leader did not make the boys available for questioning, the Aug. 18 press release said.

National news accounts in early July featured reports by the adult leader quoting the unnamed boys about a July 7 encounter in which a guard was said to have pointed a gun at one of the Boy Scouts.

The border guards did require a boy to delete a photo of the border from his camera. "Federal law bans photography at such facilities," the agency said.

The Washington Post said that when the officer checked the camera to see that the image was deleted, "the official noticed a photograph of a marijuana bud, which the Scout admitted to holding in the picture. The discovery prompted officers to search the vehicle."

They found nothing of concern. The Scout leader later said the group was held at the checkpoint for about four hours, but the inspector general said it was closer to 49 minutes, the Post reported.

Before the group departed, an officer helped fix a flat tire on one of the vehicles used by the troop.