National Guard Helicopter Crew Helps Apprehend Fleeing Human Smugglers

Chief Warrant Officer Weston Holtmeyer (front left), Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Ottinger (front right) and Sergeant Brent Woods (left rear) of the Missouri National Guard, along with BPA Zachary Pruett (left rear) of Tucson Sector’s Mobile Response Team, conduct aerial surveillance near Tucson, AZ as part of the first operational …
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Video Screenshot/Lu Maheda

U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector teamed up with a Missouri National Guard helicopter aircrew to apprehend a group of alleged human smugglers. They attempted to flee when agents initiated a traffic stop. The helicopter engaged in pursuit to bring the incident to a safe and successful close.

In what is being called the first National Guard flight in support of Operation Guardian Support, three members of the Missouri Guard were joined by a Border Patrol agent near the southern border with Mexico on May 17.

Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Ottinger, Chief Warrant Officer Weston Holtmeyer, and Sgt. Brent Woods of the Missouri National Guard, teams up with Border Patrol Agent Zachary Pruett of Tucson Sector’s Mobile Response Team as they prepare for the first aviation support mission for Operation Guardian Support. (Photo: Lu Maheda - U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Ottinger, Chief Warrant Officer Weston Holtmeyer, and Sgt. Brent Woods of the Missouri National Guard, team up with Border Patrol Agent Zachary Pruett of Tucson Sector’s Mobile Response Team as they prepare for the first aviation support mission for Operation Guardian Support. (Photo: Lu Maheda – U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Ground-based agents observed five suspected illegal immigrants getting into a sedan in the desert near Ajo, Arizona. As the agents attempted a traffic stop, the sedan fled — leading the agents in a high-speed pursuit. The Missouri National Guard UH-72 Lakota and its aircrew consisting of three guardsmen and a Border Patrol agent quickly moved into position to observe the pursuit, officials stated.

The vehicle finally came to a stop and the occupants took off leading to a foot chase by the ground agents. The aircrew monitored from above and guided agents.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.

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