Tuesday, September 9, 2008

BP agents rescue 20 migrants in 3 cases (Arizona Daily Star)

BP agents rescue 20 migrants in 3 cases

By Stephen Ceasar
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 09.09.2008

A Mexican woman was rescued by Border Patrol agents Monday after she was bitten by a snake while crossing the border near Nogales. She was one of 20 illegal immigrants rescued by agents in three separate incidents over the weekend.

Agents also arrested two suspected immigrant smugglers after a vehicle chase and helped Mexican authorities catch a murder suspect, said Rob Daniels, spokesman for the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector.

The 27-year-old woman was taken to Holy Cross Hospital and then later to St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson for treatment.

On Sunday, agents rescued a group of 15 illegal immigrants north of Ajo, including a 41-year-old woman who had passed out due to severe dehydration and heat exhaustion, said Daniels. Among the group were her 42-year-old husband and her 17-year-old son, all from Puebla, Mexico. The woman was taken to St. Mary's Hospital for treatment. Her husband and son were processed and returned to Mexico.

Agents responded to a call on Saturday reporting there were four illegal immigrants crossing Arizona 80 near Douglas. As an agent approached the group, one immigrant who was having difficulties breathing lost consciousness. The man, from Oa-xaca, Mexico, received medical attention and then was takento University Medical Center for further treatment, according to Daniels.

Two suspected immigrant smugglers were captured after a chase Monday along Federal Route 1 near Ajo. The men fled after agents attempted to make an immigration stop. Agents broke off pursuit as the vehicle approached the speed limit. They radioed ahead to other agents who laid out spike strips, ending the chase and arresting the men, said Daniels. One of the men, a 25-year-old from Phoenix, claimed to be an active member of the gang known as the "Locotes." He is being prosecuted for immigrant smuggling. The other, a 28-year-old man also from Phoenix, was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service on an outstanding warrant.

On Sept. 1, agents patrolling the area near the San Miguel Gate on the Tohono O'odham Nation heard three gunshots originating somewhere south of the border, according to a U.S. Border Patrol press release.

As the agent approached the area to investigate, he heard another blast coming from the same area. He notified the dispatcher, who then informed Mexican authorities. Shortly thereafter agents came across three illegal immigrants who said they had witnessed the shooting.

The immigrants said the two men involved in the shooting were, in fact, their smugglers. They said that just before crossing at the gate, one of the smugglers had an altercation with the other and then shot the man. Mexican authorities questioned the men and were able to pinpoint the location of the shooting as well as the body of the smuggler

Mexican authorities arrested a 42-year-old Mexican man on suspicion of murdering the 35-year-old victim, also from Mexico.

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