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CBP Seizes Ultralight and Arrests Illegal Alien Pilot

Release Date: 
October 3, 2019

TUCSON, Ariz. –Agents from Tucson Sector Border Patrol and Tucson Air Branch Air and Marine Operations seized anAn ultralight aircraft entered the United States illegally and the pilot attempted to flee law enforcement agent near Tucson Sep. 29. ultralight aircraft and arrested the Mexican national pilot Sunday night on State Route 82, east of Nogales. 

Shortly after 11:00 p.m., AMO personnel operating surveillance equipment detected an unknown aircraft just north of the international border. AMO helicopter crews deployed to search for the ULA, while Border Patrol agents on the ground followed the aircraft’s path.

For nearly an hour, CBP agents tracked and followed the ULA until it made an improvised landing along State Route 82 near Kino Springs. When Border Patrol agents reached the location of the aircraft, it appeared damaged from the landing, and abandoned by its pilot.

Agents conducted an exhaustive search for the pilot, ultimately finding him hiding in a nearby wash.

The 39-year-old pilot, illegally present in the country, will be held for immigration violations.

This is the second ultralight seized by CBP in the last year. On May 23, a similar aircraft with nearly 150 lbs. of synthetics narcotics was found in a similar smuggling event, however no arrests were made in connection to that seizure.  

Unscrupulous transnational criminal organizations use a wide range of techniques to smuggle both humans and narcotics into the United States. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free.

Last modified: 
November 22, 2019