Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Busy, deadly weekend as heat hits border crossers

Arizona Daily Star
May 12, 2009
by Brady McCombs

U.S. Border Patrol agents recovered the bodies of two illegal immigrants and rescued several others over the first 100-degree plus weekend of the year. Also, on Friday agents also discovered a crude dirt tunnel connecting Mexico to the drainage system under the city of Nogales, Ariz.

Border deaths

The first body discovery began on Friday at 8 a.m. when Border Patrol agents working at the agency's Camp Grip location on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge apprehended three illegal immigrants, said Rob Daniels, Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman. The three men said there was a fourth man who had wandered south and never returned.

They found the man dead on the Cabeza Prieta approximately 30 miles northwest of Lukeville. There was no information available on the man's age or where he was from.

The second body was discovered Saturday about 10:15 p.m. when Border Patrol agents came across a dead woman approximately eight miles northeast of Sasabe, Daniels said. The woman's 16-year-old son and another man were with her. They told agents that she became unable to walk and they stopped to take a rest. She fell asleep and never woke up, they said. She was 36 years old and from Puebla, Mexico.


On Friday evening about 10 miles east of Douglas on the Geronimo Trail Road, an illegal immigrant flagged down a Border Patrol agent and asked for help. He said his cousin was unable to walk and needed help.

The agent went to the location provided by the man and found a girl going in and out of consciousness, said Mike Scioli, Border Patrol Tucson Sector spokesman. He called for help and the girl, 17, from Veracruz, Mexico was flown to University Medical Center in Tucson. She was treated for dehydration and released to be returned to Mexico.

On Monday morning, agents rescued five illegal immigrants who were dehydrated and in distress in an area north of Ajo. They found out about the people from a member of the group who came to a checkpoint on Arizona 85 and asked for help.
All five people were treated and set up for return to Mexico.


On Friday at 8:15 a.m., Border Patrol agents uncovered a dirt tunnel beneath the Burger King parking lot west of the Dennis Deconcini Port of Entry. The tunnel started in Mexico and connected to the drainage system under the city of Nogales, Ariz.

The crude, hand-dug tunnel popped into the main drainage system by cutting through the corrugated steel of a circular drainage pipe that connects to the main tunnels that run beneath Nogales to manage floodwaters, Scioli said.

The day before in that same parking lot, Nogales police officers had made a marijuana seizure and Border Patrol agents had made an apprehension of illegal immigrants, Scioli said. It was the 11th tunnel discovered since Oct. 1 in the Tucson Sector, compared with six at the same last year, according to agency figures.


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