TUCSON, Ariz. –During fiscal year 2014, the women and men of the Tucson Sector Border Patrol continued to make headway in accomplishing their goal of securing America’s borders.
Agents from the Tucson Sector capped off the year with 87,915 apprehensions, compared to a high of 616,346 in fiscal year 2000. Those apprehended included members of notorious international gangs, such as MS 13, and felons previously convicted of such serious crimes as homicide, rape and child molestation.
A majority of individuals arrested throughout the year were from Mexico. However, more than 19,000 were from countries other than Mexico.
Agents seized a variety of drugs throughout the year, primarily 971,180 pounds of marijuana, but also cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.
Other accomplishments of note were the discovery and remediation of seven illicit tunnels, and the addition and refurbishment of technology, such as cameras and surveillance towers to assist agents in observing various areas of the border.
Tucson Sector agents also worked closely with partner agencies, such as the Office of Air and Marine, to counter scout operations in an attempt to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal operations.
In addition to enforcement duties, humanitarian efforts included the launch of the Blue Light of Life campaign; the Border Safety Initiative; and continued partnerships with media, foreign consulates and non-governmental organizations. Agents’ work with Humane Borders, for example, resulted in a reduction in deaths and potential rescues: 107 deaths in fiscal 2014, compared to 194 recorded in 2013; and 509 rescues in 2014 compared to 802 in 2013.
The Blue Light of Life campaign involved the addition of 10 new rescue beacons in the Tucson Sector’s area of operations where most deaths and rescues occur.
Through expanding partnerships with state, local and tribal entities, the Tucson Sector’s 4,000-plus agents continue to work tirelessly and diligently in securing 262 miles of the international border.