US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Smugglers Continue to Disregard Human Life

Release Date: 
October 3, 2011

Tucson, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Sector, a component of the Joint Field Command-Arizona, recovered the remains of one individual and rescued 27 illegal immigrants, all of whom had been abandoned by their smugglers over the weekend.

BORSTAR and Naco agents provide assistance.

BORSTAR and Naco Border Patrol Station agents provide assistance to a group of illegal aliens who were stranded in the Huachuca Mountains Sunday.

Photo Credit:DHS

Ajo Station Border Patrol agents responded to a rescue beacon activation Friday and found two illegal immigrants nearby. The men said they activated the beacon after becoming lost in the desert. Both men were medically evaluated and appeared to be in good health. In a separate incident, Ajo agents responded to a 911 call from two illegal immigrants lost and in distress. Agents located the couple and, after a medical evaluation by Border Patrol agents certified as emergency medical technicians, both required advanced medical treatment due to their diabetic conditions.

On Saturday, Ajo agents rescued an illegal immigrant who activated a rescue beacon. The man was evaluated and found to be in good physical condition. In another incident, Ajo agents and a CBP helicopter crew responded to a 911 call regarding an illegal immigrant lost in the West Desert. The subject was located in good health and transported to the Ajo Station for processing.

CBP helicopter assists BORSTAR agent.

A CBP helicopter hovers near a BORSTAR agent during a rescue operation involving 12 illegal aliens in the Huachuca Mountains.

Photo Credit:DHS

Also on Saturday, Casa Grande Station agents responded to a rescue beacon activated in the West Desert and found five illegal immigrants. All subjects were in good health and did not require medical attention. Agents transported the group to the Casa Grande Station for processing.

Sunday, Ajo agents responded to two 911 calls from illegal aliens in distress in the West Desert who had been abandoned by their smugglers. Agents located two males who were medically evaluated and found to be in good health. They were then transported to the Ajo Station for processing.

Also on Sunday, agents assigned to the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) unit found a deceased male after apprehending a group who told them of seeing a woman sitting by her dead husband. BORSTAR agents located the deceased man but were unable to find the woman. Agents attempted to follow the woman's trail but were unable to continue due to rain. Several hours later, a woman claiming to be the wife of the deceased approached a Tohono O'odham Police officer. The woman, from Oaxaca, Mexico, was turned over to the Border Patrol and transported to the Casa Grande Station. The Tohono O'odham Police Department took custody of the scene where the deceased man was found.

In the Huachuca Mountains Sunday, Naco Station agents rescued 12 illegal immigrants abandoned by their smugglers. Agents assisted eight of the subjects down the mountain, but four had to rely on assistance from a BORSTAR team. After being medically evaluated, all subjects were transported to the Naco Station for processing.

Many illegal immigrants smuggled into the United States are unaware of the extreme elements they will face. Technology and the specialized training agents receive is vital to saving lives in the harsh terrain. The Border Patrol also relys on relationships with fellow law enforcement agencies in the overall success of mitigating illegal entries and saving lives.

CBP announced the JFC-AZ in February 2011 as an organizational realignment that brings together the U.S. Border Patrol, Air and Marine, and Field Operations under a unified command structure. JFC-AZ integrates CBP's border security, commercial enforcement and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in Arizona.

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017