Seventy current and former US Customs and Border Protection employees are under investigation for participating in a secret Border Patrol Facebook group filled with racist and misogynist comments, the agency said Monday.
The group, first reported by ProPublica earlier this month, included posts from Border Patrol agents joking about the deaths of immigrants and a vulgar illustration depicting women lawmakers engaged in sexual acts with a detained immigrant. The group had roughly 9,500 members.
The investigation from CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility into 62 current and 8 former employees extends beyond the "I'm 10-15" Facebook group and includes activity from three private social media groups. "10-15" is the agency's code for “aliens in custody.”
All of the cases are currently administrative and not criminal, a CBP official said. Investigations into two employees have already concluded and been referred to management for a disciplinary decision.
Carla Provost, the chief of Border Patrol who previously called the Facebook posts "inappropriate," was also a member of the "I'm 10-15" group, the Intercept reported Friday. It's unknown if she is among the 70 current and former employees under investigation, because CBP said it could not discuss individual cases.
Brian Hastings, Border Patrol chief of operations, told CNN that each one of the allegations would be thoroughly investigated.
"These do not represent the thoughts of the men and women of the US Border Patrol," Hastings said. "Each one of these allegations will be thoroughly investigated."