Border Patrol rescues aliens
August 13, 2007 - 4:58PM
Eleven illegal aliens from Mexico were in Border Patrol custody Monday after being rescued from the desert in east Yuma County the day before, the patrol said in a news release.

The Border Patrol and an Air National Guard pilot made the rescues in a coordinated effort after agents assigned to the patrol's Wellton station discovered footprints in the desert about 20 miles southeast of Tacna Sunday morning.

Six of the aliens were found and taken into custody after agents followed the footprints to a fire that had been set by the aliens, the news release said. It did not say why the fire was set, and Albert Bosco, a spokesman for the patrol's Yuma sector, was not immediately available for comment Monday afternoon.

Agents learned during questioning of the aliens that they were part of a group that had been separated the night before, the release said, and a Border Patrol pilot from Yuma was called in to search the area. The air search located and led to the arrest of two more aliens, who told agents there were possibly three more aliens still unaccounted for, the release said.

Two of the remaining three were found by 11 a.m., while the third was found in the afternoon by an Air National Guard pilot and a member of the Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue - or BORSTAR - team.

Several of the aliens had symptoms of dehydration and were taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center, the patrol said.

Also over the weekend, Border Patrol agents seized 270 pounds of marijuana while conducting traffic check operations in Dome Valley.

The bust came after Wellton-based agents observed and stopped a suspicious-looking utility truck Saturday afternoon.

A search of the vehicle turned up a secret compartment behind the truck's cab that contained 19 bundles of marijuana valued at $625,000, the patrol said. The driver, a U.S. citizen whose name was not released, was arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The driver had a prior drug conviction, the patrol said. ... gents.html