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Joint Rescue of Illegal Aliens in Distress

Release Date

OCOTILLO, CALIF.—On Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol agents, Office of Air and Marine (OAM), the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue Team (BORSTAR) and California Highway Patrol (CHP) performed a joint search and successful rescue operation for four illegal aliens in distress near Plaster City.

CHP received a 911 emergency call at approximately 4:33 p.m., from one of the four lost men. The call was relayed to the El Centro Sector Border Patrol, and a rapid search and rescue operation was initiated with helicopter assets from OAM and the sector's elite Search, Trauma, and Rescue Unit (BORSTAR). OAM pilots located one of the individuals and airlifted him to nearby BORSTAR units who quickly rendered medical aid and treated him for mild dehydration.

Information gathered from the rescued individual helped in narrowing the search for the others to a specific area. Agents on foot encountered the remaining men several hours later and relayed their location to BORSTAR agents. BORSTAR treated the men on scene and determined they were not in need of further medical assistance.

The four men, ages 22, 23, 26 and 38, all Mexican Nationals illegally present in the United States, were taken into custody and transported to El Centro Station for processing and further evaluation.

The El Centro Sector's Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats. We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe. Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at (800)901-2003.

Last Modified: February 3, 2021