Border Patrol Teams With Neighboring Law Enforcement Agencies to Assure Safety in Yuma County Border Communities
YUMA, Ariz. – Late Thursday night (June 11), agents observed a small modified vehicle, or go-cart, cross from Mexico over the bridge that spans the Salinity Canal. The smaller vehicle stopped near a pickup truck in the vicinity of the West Main Canal.
As an agent approached the vehicles, the two suspect vehicles quickly drove away in different directions. The agent began pursuing the pickup and activated his emergency lights and sirens, after which the suspect vehicle increased its speed, failing to yield. The agent followed the pickup truck, making a loop through Gadsden. Both the driver and passenger abandoned the vehicle, fleeing on foot back to Mexico near the area where the vehicle was originally parked.
Several bundles of marijuana were discovered in the rear of the vehicle. The total weight of the marijuana was 180 pounds, with an estimated worth of $90,000. The vehicle and drugs were processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.
Early Friday morning (June 12), Border Patrol agents assisted efforts by California Highway Patrol officers to locate a subject who had bailed out of a stolen vehicle following a brief pursuit by CHP. Agents located the subject, took him into custody, and turned him over to CHP.
Friday evening, agents observed a vehicle traveling through Dome Valley, apparently attempting to circumvent the Interstate 8 checkpoint. An immigration inspection of the occupants in the vehicle determined that the male driver is a lawful permanent resident card holder, and that the passenger, a Mexican national, did not possess immigration documents allowing her to travel through or remain in the United States legally. The female, Mexican national will be processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.
The vehicle was impounded by Wellton Police Department for expired vehicle registration, and the driver was cited and released for driving without a license.
Three events occurred Saturday morning (June 13).
Border Patrol agents assisted the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in locating a citizen driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 8 near mile marker 75. Agents located the citizen driving near Sentinel and attempted to get the driver's attention with emergency lights and siren. The driver did not respond and continued driving on the wrong side of the interstate. DPS blocked oncoming traffic, while Border Patrol agents were able to safely deploy a controlled tire deflation device without incident to safely bring the vehicle to a halt.
DPS took custody of the driver, an 84-year-old male, who stated he was lost and on several types of medication. The elderly driver said he didn't realize he was on Interstate 8 or in the wrong lane.
Another vehicle attempted to travel through Dome Valley to circumvent the Interstate 8 checkpoint over the weekend. The vehicle initially failed to yield to the agent’s emergency lights and sirens on the Border Patrol vehicle. When the vehicle finally stopped following a brief pursuit, agents conducted an immigration inspection of the occupants. The driver and all three occupants admitted to being citizens of Mexico and in the country illegally. None of the subjects were in possession of immigration documents. The vehicle was seized and all subjects were processed under Yuma Sector guidelines.
In another incident, a Yuma Sector detection canine alerted to a vehicle attempting to travel through the Interstate 8 checkpoint east of Yuma. A search of the male driver and his vehicle resulted in the discovery of a handgun on the driver’s person, 25 pounds of methamphetamine and one and one-half pounds of heroin hidden in the vehicle’s floorboard. The estimated value of the methamphetamine was $75,000, and the heroin was valued at $21,000. Border Patrol seized the vehicle, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) took custody of the subject, contraband and handgun.
Several of the incidents in the past four days are indicative of the cooperation by neighboring law enforcement agencies in Yuma County and the successes engendered as a result of their combined efforts to keep local communities safe.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.