Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 13 migrants with the assistance of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) late last week. The apprehensions, utilizing drones operated by Air and Marine Operations agents from over 100 miles away, led to the apprehension of the migrants in two separate incidents.
On January 27, UAS operators helped locate a group of eight illegal immigrants near Comstock, Texas. The operators guided Del Rio Sector agents to the location where they placed the migrants under arrest for immigration violations, according to information provided by Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials.
“Technology systems like the UAS allow us to greatly improve our presence on the border,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement. “We are always looking for innovative ways to implement technology into our time-honored law enforcement response.”
Chief Ortiz was a guest of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the State of the Union Address where the president announced Ortiz’s promotion to Deputy Chief of the Border Patrol — the agency’s number two position.
In a separate incident on the same day, UAS operators located the second group of five migrants near Carrizo Springs, Texas. The operators guided Border Patrol agents to the scene of the second arrest.
“One aspect of National Air Security Operations Center-San Angelo’s mission is to safeguard our nation by anticipating and confronting security threats at the border using innovative law enforcement technology,” San Angelo Director of Air and Marine Operations Troy Meridith added. “The center’s Joint Program Office consisting of Air and Marine Operations, U.S. Border Patrol, and U.S. Coast Guard personnel, fly MQ-9 Unmanned Aircraft Systems technology to provide land and maritime domain awareness along the Texas Border.”
“AMO’s UAS crews use cutting-edge systems technology and real-time networked data dissemination and exploitation to detect, identify, monitor, and coordinate a response with law enforcement partners to threats at the nation’s border and on approach to the United States,” Border Patrol officials reported. “This real-time view allows agents to effectively patrol vast amounts of land that may be otherwise inaccessible to agents.”
So far this year, nearly 500 illegal immigrants attempting to avoid detection and apprehension were detected with the assistance of the UAS operations. This led to nearly 200 arrests in the Del Rio Sector, officials stated.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.