Agents halt two smuggling attempts, arrest a convicted sex offender, and rescue five illegal aliens
Imperial Valley, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents had a busy weekend that included the arrest of a convicted sex offender, the seizure of 182 pounds of marijuana, a desert rescue, and the arrest of nine illegal aliens after they bailed out of a vehicle that attempted to flee from Border Patrol agents.
The first incident occurred on Friday at 10:50 p.m. when Calexico Border Patrol agents witnessed two illegal aliens swim north across the All American Canal and load two large bundles and themselves into the bed of a 1987 blue Dodge pick-up truck. Agents stopped the vehicle, arresting the driver and all four passengers. The bundles that were observed being loaded into the truck contained 182 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of more than $145,000. The Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of all five individuals, the marijuana, and the pick-up truck.
The second incident occurred on Sunday at 5:20 a.m. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro station apprehended a 34-year-old male Guatemalan national who had entered the United States illegally. Record checks revealed that the man was sentenced to15 years in prison in 1996 for a conviction of aggravated sex assault with a child. An immigration judge ordered him deported in 1998. He will be held for criminal prosecution.
In a separate incident on Sunday, El Centro Station Border Patrol agents performed a search and rescue operation at 9:50 a.m. to locate a group of four lost illegal aliens. The group relayed that one person was left behind. Agents located that person at 11:55 a.m. All five illegal aliens were examined by an Emergency Medical Technician and found to be in good health.
The fourth significant event of the weekend also occurred on Sunday. At approximately 3:00 p.m. two Calexico station Border Patrol agents received information that several illegal aliens had loaded into a white Ford Explorer. When agents attempted to pull the vehicle over near Highway 111 and Evan Hewes Highway, the driver refused to yield to the emergency lights and sirens of the Border Patrol vehicle. The driver attempted to evade agents and then came to an abrupt stop. Nine men and one woman exited the vehicle and fled into a nearby industrial business. After an extensive search, all nine illegal aliens from Mexico, as well as the driver of the vehicle, were arrested. The driver, a 22-year-old Mexican citizen, will be held for criminal prosecution and the 2002 Ford Explorer was seized.
The El Centro Border Patrol’s “See Something, Say Something” Campaign is a simple and effective program to increase the safety and welfare of the Imperial Valley by bringing public awareness to the indicators of crime and other threats. The community plays a key role keeping our country safe by identifying and reporting suspicious or criminal activity. We encourage Imperial Valley residents to report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at (800) 901-2003.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.