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Armed Smugglers Force Migrant Into Well

Release Date: 
March 27, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz.Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents rescued multiple illegal immigrants who had been abandoned by smugglers over the past three days.

Early Monday evening, Border Patrol agents on patrol heard cries for help emanating from a dry well in the desert near Topawa, Ariz.  The agents quickly located a man trapped at the bottom of the well.  A Border Patrol EMT and other agents successfully extricated the illegal immigrant, who did not appear to be injured.  The Guatemalan national reported that he was forced into the well by two armed smugglers when he refused to carry a bundle of narcotics during his journey into the United States. 

On Sunday evening, Office of Air and Marine’s Tucson Air Branch and Border Patrol BORSTAR agents rescued a mother and two young boys near Covered Wells, Ariz.  The family had been abandoned in the desert by their smuggler three days prior.  After receiving a 911 call, a coordinated air and ground search effort was launched to locate the small group.  The three individuals were located and airlifted to a local hospital where they were treated for dehydration. 

All of the individuals will be processed for removal proceedings in accordance with Tucson Sector guidelines.                

Smugglers continue to victimize illegal immigrants by exposing them to dangerous situations, including being forced to carry narcotics, long walks through isolated terrain, and the threat of violence and abandonment.   

Customs and Border Protection 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.