LAREDO, Texas — Just as 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump was concluding his whirlwind tour of this Texas/Mexico border city, the U.S. Border Patrol kicked off a hectic weekend. Over the next twenty-four hours or so, Border Patrol agents would seize 427 pounds of marijuana, rescue twenty-two illegal immigrants and save the life of at least one of them.
Shortly before Trump departed Laredo International Airport, the Border Patrol agents working the checkpoint located about twenty-five miles north of Trumps departure point, discovered an 18-wheeler loaded with twenty illegal immigrants, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) release obtained by Breitbart Texas. The eighteen men and two juveniles from Mexico were hiding in the trailer and were discovered during a secondary inspection at the checkpoint. None of the immigrants required medical attention.
Earlier that day, agents of the Border Patrol’s Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team were called out to find and rescue two illegal aliens, one of whose life was in danger. A 9-1-1 call alerted agents to two men in distress in the ranchlands west of Laredo. One of the men had succumbed to the blistering 106 degree heat of the afternoon. Assisted by a CBP Air and Marine Division helicopter, the highly trained search and rescue agents were able to find the men.
The BORSTAR agents located the missing illegal immigrants and the CBP helicopter airlifted in a paramedic to provide life-saving treatment to the distressed immigrant. The subject was unresponsive when found and had a weak pulse. After the paramedic stabilized the subject, he was transported by helicopter to a local hospital. Many people in similar situations die from exposure to the heat of the south Texas ranchland’s desert-like conditions.
“This is a common occurrence,” said Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza in a conversation with Breitbart Texas over the weekend. Agent Garza serves as president of the National Border Patrol Council, Local 2455. “This shows how our agents go above and beyond to not only protect the border, but to save lives.”
Agent Garza said his agents are not just looking for people illegally crossing the border or moving drugs. “We are often approached by local residents who are in distress and need assistance. All of our agents are trained in first-aid and some are certified by Texas as emergency medical technicians.”
He said the agents have frequently put their lives at risk by jumping in the river to save people in distress. “Often times, we are called to go places where ambulances could not go,” Garza explained. “We get up on rocky peaks and down into deep creek beds. Our agents march through this oppressive heat, thick brush and rocky terrain to save lives.”
Shortly before Trump arrived in this historic border town, Border Patrol agents from the western portion of the Laredo Sector noticed a black Toyota Tundra truck behaving suspiciously. The driver took off. A short time later, agents located the truck again and discovered 427 pounds of marijuana. The haul was wrapped in eighteen bundles and was hidden in the truck’s toolbox. The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $340,000. The drugs, vehicle and suspect were turned over to the Webb County Sheriff’s Office for prosecution.