april 6, 2016

Failed smuggling attempt results in two fatalities

On the night of March 28 a failed smuggling attempt resulted in the tragic death of two in an attempt to evade law enforcement.

At approximately 7:45, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents observed a group of suspected illegal immigrants exiting a desert area and running to a vehicle parked in a gas station parking lot near Andrade, California. The suspects entered the vehicle and fled the area. The suspect vehicle subsequently collided with a semi-truck on Interstate 8, causing injury to four individuals and two fatalities. The driver of the semi-truck was not injured. The alleged driver of the vehicle, a 30 year-old U.S. citizen, is currently under investigation for alien smuggling.

Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Porvaznik states that, “While we lament the loss of lives in this incident, it serves as a violent demonstration of the dangerous conditions our agents face on a daily basis in the performance of their duties. The reckless actions of members of smuggling organizations know no bounds. They will endanger not only our agents, but also the migrants they transport and innocent citizens in their paths in efforts to succeed in their illegal, cross-border activities.”

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.

Nogales CBP Officers seize firearms, ammo
A Phoenix woman and a U.S. citizen male living in Mexico were arrested March 27 for attempting to smuggle firearms and ammunition into Mexico through the Port of Nogales.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting outbound inspections selected a Ford SUV, driven by the 26-year-old woman, for further inspection. During the search, officers found two tactical rifles, rifle components and 3,000 rounds of ammunition.

Officers seized the vehicle and contraband, and referred both subjects to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.   

Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

Border Patrol Technology Detects Marijuana Smugglers on Horseback
Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Station seized two horses carrying large packs of marijuana through the desert Sunday evening, March 27 near Sasabe.

Agents operating detection and surveillance technology observed two individuals on horseback cross into the United States illegally near Sasabe. The information was relayed to agents in the field, and a Border Patrol agent and an Air and Marine Operations helicopter responded to investigate. The smugglers continued to trek northbound until they heard the helicopter approaching. At that time, the two individuals dismounted the horses and fled back to Mexico. 

Agents seized the horses and marijuana, weighing approximately 95.5 pounds and worth almost $48,000. The horses will be turned over to the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

“These types of technology assets strengthens and multiplies Border Patrol effectiveness in a wide variety of scenarios in Tucson Sector’s unpredictable and remote terrain,” said Division Chief Raleigh Leonard. “Improved technology has enhanced our ability to deter, detect, identify, classify, and resolve border incursions.

“Technology also provides agents improved situational awareness and facilitates an appropriate level of response according to the level of threat,” he added. “Agents are advised in advance if the detected activity is armed narcotics traffickers or unarmed migrants.”

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free.

Border Patrol Agent Saves Choking Child
A Douglas Border Patrol Station agent rendered aid to a 6-year-old child choking at a local restaurant Sunday, March 27 in Douglas, Arizona. 

The agent was waiting for a food order at Carl’s Jr. when he noticed a family in distress because their child appeared to be choking. The Border Patrol agent took immediate action, administering two forceful blows with the palm of his hand to the child’s back. The child immediately began to breathe. 

The Douglas Fire Department arrived on scene and determined no further medical treatment was required.  

All Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents are trained as first responders and are often relied upon to administer immediate, lifesaving aid in the communities they patrol. The agency also employs more than 250 EMTs and 15 paramedics. 

“This is just another example of what makes me so proud of our agents,” said Tucson Sector’s Chief Patrol Agent Paul Beeson. “We are all committed to protecting and keeping our communities safe. This is where we live and raise our own families.”

CBP welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous. 

CBP canine sniffs out 52 lbs of meth in car
Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a Mexican national on March 24 for attempting to smuggle almost 52 pounds of methamphetamine through the Dennis DeConcini crossing at the Port of Nogales.

Officers inspecting the vehicle of a 42-year-old woman found multiple packages of meth after a CBP narcotics-detection canine alerted to the drugs hidden inside the vehicle’s rocker panels when she attempted to enter the U.S.  

Officers seized the drugs and vehicle, and turned the subject – a legal permanent resident – over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Joint operation results in rescue of injured alien 
A Border Patrol agent from Tucson Sector’s Ajo Station and an Air and Marine Operations Yuma Air Branch helicopter crew rescued an adult male Mexican national suffering from a leg injury near Ajo, Arizona, March 23.

Shortly before 8 a.m., the Ajo Border Patrol Station received notification of a 911 call from a man from Sinaloa, Mexico, and that he was injured with only 10 percent battery life remaining on his cell phone.

The agent responding was able to get within approximately 2.2 miles from his location by vehicle but had to hike the remaining distance. After an AMO crew was contacted, the pilot determined he could land nearby and transport the man to the Ajo Border Patrol Station.

After agents determined the man was illegally present in the United States and had broken his leg. Subsequently they arranged ground transport for additional medical treatment.

“Entering the United States illegally, especially through the dangerous and unforgiving Arizona environment, is not worth risking one’s life,” said Paul Beeson, commander of the Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Task Force-West, Arizona. “As a result of unity of effort, communication and coordination, this story did not have a tragic ending.”