Border Patrol agents arrested a group of heavily armed Mexican nationals who illegally crossed the border into southern Arizona. The agents found three Mexican nationals who were carrying multiple weapons–including “assault-style firearms.”
Tucson Sector agents teamed up with air support from U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations (CBP-AMO) to locate the group of men after camera surveillance detected them walking north about 17 miles from the Arizona-Mexico Border, according to information provided to Breitbart Texas from CBP in Tuscon.
Helicopters from the Yuma and Tucson Air Branches were dispatched with Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents to make contact with the heavily armed group.
After arriving on the scene, the BORSTAR agents utilized a K-9 to locate an 18-year-old Mexican national hiding in the brush. The K-9 also discovered “multiple assault-style firearms” and additional ammunition.
Agents arrested the Mexican national and transported him to the Ajo Station for processing and questioning, officials said.
Breitbart Texas spoke with CBP officials Wednesday afternoon and learned the men were openly carrying weapons as they marched north from the border in a remote area with added survival supplies befitting a long trek. Officials could not say why they were carrying such a large number of firearms at this time.
After arresting the first Mexican national, other agents continued the search and found two additional Mexican men, ages 43 and 24, according to the statement released.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) are currently questioning the suspects, CBP officials told Breitbart Texas. Additional information may be released following their questioning of the suspects and charges being filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.
Agents seized six firearms in total. Those include five “AK variants” and one 9 mm pistol, CBP officials told Breitbart Texas.
Breitbart Texas’ Editor-in-Chief Brandon Darby and journalist Ildefonso Ortiz reported leaked U.S. government surveillance photos in September 2017. The photos revealed armed cartel smugglers crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border into southern Arizona.
The article states:
The images were taken in an area of the Tucson Sector in the Huachuca Mountains. The region is controlled by a transnational criminal organization known as Los Salazar. The regional cartel is aligned with the Sinaloa Federation. Other criminal groups in the Sinaloa Federation are warring against Los Salazar and this manifests in this portion of Arizona becoming their battleground. The other groups send “rip crews” into Los Salazar’s smuggling turf in efforts to steal their drug loads on U.S. soil. The area is not only full of Mexican cartel smugglers, but other cartels’ rip crews are present and U.S. prison gangs and other gangs stalk the area to steal drug loads as well. Such rip crews consist of armed criminals attempting to rip or steal cartel drug loads as they are in transit.
Tucson Sector Border Patrol Chief Rudolfo Karisch spoke with Breitbart Texas on the images and stated, “These appear to be authentic of criminal organizations coming across the border. This is not unique to Arizona, we have seen this in other parts of the country as well all along the Southwest border. Any time you have illicit commodities crossing the border, you will have criminals trying to protect those commodities — both from law enforcement and from other bad guys.
Chief Agent Karisch continued, “We acknowledge that these criminal organizations pose a threat to both U.S. and international security. Border security work is dangerous. We deal with transnational criminals, gang members, and other threats. They are trying to get their product through without encountering the public.”