POTRERO, Calif.—Border Patrol agents patrolling the border in East County on Tuesday rescued a man who suffered from heat-related injuries. Due to the remote location, the man was air-evacuated to a local hospital.
Throughout the afternoon, agents were working in extreme temperatures and treacherous terrain as they pursued a group of suspected illegal border-crossers in Hauser Canyon near Potrero, Calif. After several hours of tracking, the agents encountered a 28-year-old male Mexican national, who was clearly in physical distress.
While agents immediately rendered assistance to the man, they could not carry him out of the canyon for treatment due to the inaccessibility of the area. Requesting assistance, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office responded and sent a helicopter (ASTREA) to airlift the man out of the canyon and to an area hospital. The man was treated and eventually released to U.S. Border Patrol custody early this morning.
It is suspected that the man was left behind in the canyon by a human smuggler who was guiding a small group of suspected illegal migrants. Agents currently are patrolling the backcountry in search of the suspects.
The rescued man was a Mexican national illegally present in the U.S. and remains in Department of Homeland Security custody. He will return to Mexico upon a reinstatement of his prior deportation.
In fiscal year 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents have recorded 39 rescues of individuals in the San Diego Sector.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.