TUCSON – Willcox Station Border Patrol agents arrested a Mexican man near Saint David on Sunday evening and learned through record checks that he had multiple felony convictions in California.
Agents, along with Cochise County Sheriff’s Office deputies participating in Operation Stonegarden, responded to sensor activity east of Saint David. Deputies discovered an abandoned Chevy Blazer and notified nearby agents who tracked footprints into the desert. Agents followed foot sign and apprehended four Mexican nationals who had entered the U.S. illegally.
While processing the suspects, agents identified one man as 30-year-old Mauricio Lemus-Ibarra, who was arrested and convicted in Visalia, California, in 2015 for assault on a person with a semi-automatic weapon. He was sentenced to three years for his crime and received an additional five years for his participation in a street gang.
Lemus will be processed for criminal immigration violations and could face additional prosecution for re-entering the U.S. as a previously-deported felon. The remaining three Mexican nationals will be processed for immigration violations in accordance with Tucson Sector guidelines.
All persons apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure illegal immigrants with criminal histories are positively identified.
Operation Stonegarden is a Department of Homeland Security program that grants funds to other law enforcement agencies to enhance and strengthen border security throughout the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, parent agency of the U.S. Border Patrol, is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. Follow us on Twitter @CBPArizona.