Del Rio, Texas - Tuesday afternoon, while on routine patrol near Brackettville, an AS-350 A-Star helicopter pilot guided U.S. Border Patrol agents to a cache of marijuana and the subjects suspected of smuggling it into the country.
Around 4:30 p.m., a Border Patrol agent working on a local ranch followed footprints that led to two men hiding in the brush. The agent took custody of one of the men but the other fled. A CBP Office of Air and Marine helicopter, from the Del Rio Air Branch, responded to the area to assist in searching for the absconded subject. The CBP pilot directed Border Patrol agents as they tracked, and ultimately found, the second individual. The pilot also spotted several large bundles near the area where the two subjects had been hiding. The bundles contained a total of 454 pounds of marijuana. A wider search of the area turned up five more individuals hiding in the brush.
The marijuana and suspects were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
The coordinated efforts of CBP Air Interdiction Agents from the Del Rio Air Branch flying above, and Border Patrol agents on the ground, prevented a large quantity of illicit drugs from being sold on the streets of any U.S. city.
"Another textbook example of how the aircrew of the Del Rio Office of Air and Marine protect the American people and our nation's critical infrastructure," said Andrew Duff, Director of Air Operations.
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.