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Agents snag 85 at drop houses

May 10, 2005

A call from a concerned citizen Monday afternoon led Border Patrol agents to three drop houses in Yuma where they detained a total of 85 illegal aliens.

The call at around 12:30 p.m. brought agents to three mobile homes near Avenue B and 2nd Street, where they interviewed the occupants, said Joe Brigman, spokesman for the patrol's Yuma sector.

Agents determined all were Mexican illegal aliens and the three houses were being used in a large-scale smuggling operation, he said.

The immigrants, 72 males and 13 females, were expected to be returned to Mexico Monday night or this morning, barring the possibility that any had committed prior offenses warranting detention, he said.

A Border Patrol investigation will determine the owners of the mobile homes and what if any role they had in this incident, said Brigman.

He said Monday's bust of the drop houses is an example of value the patrol places on getting tips from the public about possible smuggling activity.

"This is a perfect example of information that can be provided on our toll-free number. We place a very high priority on responding to these citizens' calls and it ensures that the activity will be investigated," Brigman said.

Late Monday night agents reportedly raided another drop house in Yuma where they found 75 more alleged illegal aliens, said Brigman.