CBP Seizes Ultralight and Arrests Illegal Alien Pilot
TUCSON, Ariz. –Agents from Tucson Sector Border Patrol and Tucson Air Branch Air and Marine Operations seized an 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.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.