TUCSON, Ariz. – On Sunday, August 14, 2022, U.S. Border Patrol agents responding to a suspected human smuggling event near Douglas, Arizona, rendered lifesaving aid to a man who appeared to be suffering from a drug overdose.
The event occurred around 8 a.m. when a concerned citizen called the Douglas Border Patrol Station to report that a silver sedan had picked up suspected undocumented noncitizens. Within minutes, a vehicle matching the caller’s description was caught on remote surveillance cameras. Using their emergency lights and sirens, responding Douglas Station agents attempted to stop the vehicle for an immigration inspection. The driver failed to yield.
The sedan continued down a rural dirt road before finally coming to a stop. Two people fled the vehicle. Agents apprehended a man and a woman, both U.S. citizens, shortly thereafter.
Agents discovered suspected marijuana and fentanyl inside the vehicle. As they investigated, they observed that the driver seemed to be experiencing a drug overdose. Additional Border Patrol agents, both Emergency Medical Technicians, were called to the scene. The driver, having admitted to taking several narcotic pills, was given NARCAN to counteract the dangerous effects of the drugs. His condition improved, and he was taken to a local hospital for further assessment.
The case was turned over to the Cochise County Sheriff's Office. The driver and passenger face charges for failure to yield as well as possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia.
Fentanyl is responsible for two-thirds of the drug overdoses in the United States and the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 45. A synthetic opioid 100 times stronger than morphine, it can be deadly even in small doses. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized 10,600 pounds of fentanyl so far this fiscal year.