Helicopter aircrews from the Army National Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) helped Border Patrol ground crews find and arrest fleeing migrants attempting to avoid detection after illegally crossing the border from Mexico.
Border Patrol agents in Arizona are seeing increased success in their ability to secure the border because of the support of National Guardsmen under Operation Guardian Support, CBP officials said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. Since their deployment in April, assistance from guardsmen helped Border Patrol agents with more than 1,800 arrests. In addition, their assistance led to the seizure of more than 3,100 pounds of marijuana. The members of various National Guard units assisted in 11 rescue operations and have helped disrupt 12 human smuggling efforts.
As examples of their success, CBP reported two National Guard helicopters aided Border Patrol ground crews in the arrest of nine illegal immigrants who were found in the west desert on June 20. The helicopters carried aircrews made up of both National Guardsmen and Border Patrol agents.
In the first incident, Border Patrol ground crews were unable to locate a group of illegal immigrants who were hiding in a rural area north of State Route 86. Agents requested air support and a National Guard helicopter quickly traveled to the scene. The aircrew provided overhead support and surveillance and led the ground crews to their suspects. With the help of the Guardsmen, Border Patrol agents arrested four illegal aliens who otherwise might have avoided arrest.
At about the same time, a second National Guard helicopter and aircrew deployed to the Horse Peak area near Vamori, Arizona. Border Patrol agents on the ground requested assistance after a group of five illegal aliens fled in different directions. The airborne platform provided additional search resources which led to the speedy location of the five suspects and their eventual arrest. Aircrews guided agents on the ground to each of the migrants who were attempting to escape and evade arrest. All five suspects were successfully apprehended and taken to the Border Patrol station for processing.
The nine migrants arrested in these two incidents came to the U.S. from Honduras (6), Guatemala (2), and Mexico (1). All nine will be processed for immigration violations according to Tucson Sector guidelines, officials stated.