A Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent sustained injuries after falling 15 feet while tracking a group of illegal aliens smuggling nearly 300 pounds of drugs. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrew assisted in the rescue of the injured agent.
Nogales Station agents began tracking a group of “suspected narcotics smugglers” through the mountainous terrain west of Nogales, Arizona, on Thursday afternoon. A National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter aircrew operating under Operation Guardian Support provided aerial support for the search/interdiction operation, according to information obtained from CBP officials.
As the agents approached the location of the alleged smugglers, a short foot-pursuit began. The agents apprehended the three men and determined they were all Mexican nationals with no legal authorization to be in the U.S. The agents found six large bundles of marijuana with the illegal aliens, officials stated.
While the agents carried out the arrests, one agent fell 15 feet and sustained injuries to his head and extremities. Tucson Sector officials dispatched an AMO helicopter aircrew to hoist the agent out of the canyon and transport him to an awaiting ambulance. Other agents stabilized the injured agent prior to the airlift.
The ambulance transported the un-named Border Patrol agent to a local hospital where doctors treated his injuries. The doctors released the agent to recover at home.
Nogales Station agents seized the 286 pounds of marijuana and arrested the three Mexican nationals. The agents transported the illegal aliens to the Nogales Station for processing. They could face federal smuggling charges in addition to immigration violations. Officials did not say if any of the migrants had previous criminal or immigration violations.