Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 10:30 pm

By James Gilbert

U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Sector’s Wellton Station arrested a convicted sex offender Saturday near Dateland.

According to agent Douglas Choi of the Yuma Sector Public Affairs Office, agents were on routine patrol near Sentinel when they took 27-year-old Jose Panchillo Castro.

Castro, he said, had been part of a group of twenty individuals who had entered illegally into the United States and was travelling through the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. The Wellton station agents who had been tracking the group apprehended all 20 people.

Choi said following Castro’s arrest, agents learned of the conviction during a records check. He had been previously arrested in 2007 by the Columbus Junction Police Department of Louisa County, Iowa for solicitation of lascivious acts with a child and was deported from the United States.

“(Castro) had previously been deported and was attempting to illegally re-enter the country,” Choi said.

Choi said Castro has been turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Yuma County residents can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.