ALAMOGORDO, N.M.—Joint efforts by Customs and Border Protection's U.S. Border Patrol El Paso sector and Office of Air & Marine (OAM) in El Paso, Texas, saved the life of man stranded in the desert on Wednesday.
On May 1, at approximately 8 p.m., El Paso sector communications received notification of a man stranded in the desert area near the U.S. Border Patrol Highway 54 checkpoint. The subject was walking through the desert when he became ill due to dehydration and exhaustion. The subject, later identified as Mexican National Javier Molina, used his cell phone to contact family who in turn called the El Paso sector for assistance.
Agents from the Alamogordo Border Patrol station initiated a search for Molina and cell phone contact was made in an effort to identify his exact location. With additional assistance from OAM air support, Molina was located seven miles northeast of the checkpoint. Molina was provided initial medical care by Border Patrol agents and transported to an awaiting ambulance. He was then taken to Gerald Champion Hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico, for treatment for heat exhaustion, dehydration and exposure to the elements.
This incident demonstrates how integration, information sharing and rapid response amongst different components under Customs and Border Protection can result in the saving of lives in peril. This situation also sheds light on the dangers posed by the desert environment.