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Tucson Sector Week in Review

Release Date: 
June 22, 2012

Tucson, Ariz. - Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents rescued several illegal immigrants in distress, seized contraband and made urgent attempts to save the lives of exploited foreign nationals.

Border Patrol agents and the National Guard assisted National Park Service Rangers Monday with a desert rescue of a 39-year-old Mexican national found suffering from severe dehydration and in need of medical attention after illegally crossing the border into the United States.

Early Thursday morning, a Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine (OAM) helicopter discovered a disoriented man near SR 286 and notified Border Patrol agents. An EMT certified agent arrived and found the man dehydrated and showing signs of hyperthermia. The same day, Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue agents responded to another sighting by an OAM helicopter near Sells, and treated a Mexican man with 2 ½ bags of IV fluids. In all incidents, rescued individuals were transported to area hospitals.

Also on Thursday, Border Patrol agents rescued seven illegal immigrants, two of whom were locked in the trunk of an abandoned vehicle with no interior trunk release handle.

In other incidents this week, Border Patrol agents working in the West Desert discovered the bodies of three deceased individuals who had been abandoned by their groups. The Tohono O'odham Police Department was notified in all three incidents. Yesterday, Border Patrol EMTs located an unresponsive man east of Sasabe. Agents administered chest compressions and utilized an automated external defibrillator (AED) while the Life Line 1 air unit was called for assistance. The man remained unresponsive and Border Patrol EMTs contacted a local area hospital physician who pronounced the man dead.

Temperatures in the Sonora desert can soar to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius) where there are very few natural water sources or shaded areas. In addition, it is physically impossible for the average person to carry sufficient water to avoid life-threatening heat injuries. Smugglers lie to immigrants, telling them they will walk a short distance once in the United States. Immigrants learn the truth when it is too late and they are forced to walk great distances within short periods of time. Those unable to keep up are left behind to die.

Agents also seized contraband this week. Agents working near San Miguel, discovered multiple backpacks hidden in the desert. The bags were filled with 2,000 rounds of ammunition and one pistol. The items were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

CBP is focused on combating transnational criminal organizations by impacting their ability to transport contraband deeper into the United States and ensuring smugglers face stiff federal penalties for their actions.

We welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free.

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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021