TROOPER CARLOS J. BORLAND END OF WATCH: DECEMBER 1ST, 1993

THE NHP FAMILY MOURNS A HERO

by Trooper Greg Roehm

“6432… attempt to locate gas skip from Trinity truck stop.” The vehicle was described as a red Chevrolet Blazer with unknown license plates traveling eastbound on Interstate 80 from Trinity. Carlos Borland, in his first year as a trooper with the Nevada Highway

Since its inception in 1949, the Nevada Highway Patrol has had 4 Troopers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They are gone but not forgotten. This page is dedicated to their memory.

Patrol, acknowledged the ATL while working swing shift alone in the Lovelock area.

This is how it all began in the early evening hours on November 30, 1993. Trooper Borland eventually located the suspect vehicle and at 8:54 p.m. advised Reno NHP communications that he would be stopping the vehicle on I-80 eastbound at mile post 108, just east of Lovelock. Trooper Borland was unaware that the driver of the suspect vehicle was a fugitive who previously escaped from a North Carolina prison. Only four days prior, he had allegedly murdered two people in a robbery attempt in the state of Texas. Trooper Borland was also unaware that the Blazer was stolen.

The driver, Michael Sonner, stole a set of Tennessee license plates from another vehicle that closely matched the Blazer that Sonner had previously stolen. The stolen license plates had yet to be entered into NCIC. Prior to effecting the traffic stop, Trooper Borland requested a registration check on the Tennessee plates; however, due to the lack of an NCIC entry, he was not given any information that would arouse additional suspicion.

Having only information that the vehicle was involved in a misdemeanor theft of $22 worth of gasoline, Trooper Borland stopped the stolen Blazer and approached the Driver. Sonner later told investigators that he had already made the decision upon seeing the red and blue lights that he would murder the trooper who approached him. Shortly after Borland approached the fugitive, Sonner fired a round from a .38 caliber revolver into Borland’s head. Sonner sped off as Trooper Borland fell on the highway. A tractor trailer driver saw what had occurred and stopped to assist. Reno NHP communications then heard a disturbing message from an unrecognizable voice, a message that one of our own lay critically injured on the highway…

…Despite heroic attempts to save the life of the rookie trooper, at 3:05 a.m. on December 1, 1993. Trooper Carlos J. Borland, at 25 years of age, became the fourth NHP trooper to die in the line of duty…

…The most intensive manhunt in the history of the NHP followed the shooting of Trooper Borland. The 25 hour search included officers from nine law enforcement agencies, police dogs, SWAT teams and heat sensitive helicopters…

…At approximately 10 p.m. the same day, Sonner was located and confronted by officers, including SWAT team members of the Reno Police Department… The brief standoff ended with the capture of the man…

NEVADA TROOPER MAGAZINE: May 1994