Ocotillo, Calif.—Last week, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two groups of illegal aliens that were assaulted and robbed at gunpoint as they were smuggled into the United States near Ocotillo, California.
On February 16, a group of five illegal aliens were smuggled through the mountainous area west of the Calexico, Calif. port of entry. According to statements provided by the group, two armed masked men carrying high-powered rifles assaulted and robbed them before entering the United States. A short time later, an unrelated second group of gunmen confronted the entire group and attempted to rob them of their belongings when a gunfight erupted, allegedly leaving one gunman dead at the scene. The group fled north into the U.S. where they were subsequently arrested by Border Patrol. Mexican authorities were notified and launched an operation resulting in the discovery of one shotgun with several expended shotgun rounds; no deceased persons were found at the scene. Investigation is ongoing by Mexican authorities.
The second incident occurred on February 17, when a group of eight illegal aliens were assaulted and robbed by several gunmen carrying high-powered rifles in close proximity to the first incident. The group alleged to have been held hostage at gunpoint for several hours before they overpowered and subdued the gunmen resulting in one illegal alien shot in the face and two gunmen dead. The group successfully escaped with one of the high-powered rifles and fled into the U.S. where they telephoned 911 and requested assistance. Border Patrol agents responded and provided medical assistance to the shooting victim who was airlifted to a trauma center in Palm Springs, CA. The U.S. Border Patrol, in coordination with Homeland Security Investigations and Mexican authorities launched a week long special response operation in the area. The binational, multiagency operation resulted in the seizure of one ski mask, one AK-47 and one Ruger .223, two large-capacity ammunition magazines, and the recovery of two deceased Mexican nationals.
“These unfortunate events highlight the inherent dangers of crossing the border illegally”, said Chief Patrol Agent Carla L. Provost of the El Centro Sector. “Border violence is of great concern to the governments of Mexico and the United States and we will continue to cooperate and collaborate with our partners in an effort to establish a safe and secure border.”
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.