With the summer season in full swing and sizzling temperatures rising above triple digits, nine illegal aliens, including a pregnant woman, were recently found struggling with the heat, rescued and processed by Del Rio Sector U.S. Border Patrol agents in two unrelated incidents.
On Sunday, agents assigned to the Comstock Station started a search after investigating occupants of two vehicles, a Jeep Compass and Chevrolet pickup truck, revealed to be involved in a smuggling attempt to circumvent the Comstock Border Patrol checkpoint, the agency said.
Just before 4 a.m., the Jeep Compass transported three individuals from Del Rio and dropped them off just before the checkpoint on U.S. Highway 90. Comstock agents were alerted to the smuggling activity and later confirmed the vehicle had dropped off three individuals, including a pregnant woman, to circumvent the checkpoint.
“Alien smugglers often try this tactic in an attempt to avoid inspection,” a release by U.S. Customs and Border Protection states.
They were to be picked up a few miles north of Comstock on Ranch Road 163. Agents from the Comstock Station discovered evidence of the three later that morning and began tracking the group, requesting Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations helicopter support.
Around 3 p.m., as the temperature approached 100 degrees, agents requested Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue Team (BORSTAR) to assist in the search.
BORSTAR is a team of highly specialized Border Patrol agents who have been trained in search and rescue and other special operations. The agents of the Comstock Station and BORSTAR continued the search efforts well into the evening.
At approximately 7 p.m., the illegal aliens were located and assessed by medically trained professionals. The aliens were in good condition despite being forced to share a one-gallon jug of water during their ordeal.
“Smugglers only view human beings as a commodity,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Doyle E. Amidon, Jr. “Their callous treatment is in line with the detestable nature of these criminals and their organizations. I am so proud of the diligence and valor of our agents here in Del Rio Sector. They work tirelessly to protect the lives of those they encounter, their communities, and this great nation.”
On Monday, Border Patrol agents rescued six illegal aliens in distress, after a Cuban national called the Del Rio Sector to report a family member and five others who were attempting to circumvent the Del Rio checkpoint on U.S. Highway 277.
The six became ill and unable to continue due to the extreme heat and called the family member for help.
Agents and their canine partners assigned to Del Rio Station began searching shortly after the distress call at 5 p.m. Within 30 minutes, agents encountered three illegal aliens, still able to walk, and seeking help for the others who were suffering more severe medical distress.
Agents with emergency medical training and a Del Rio Sector BORSTAR agent quickly responded. After providing life-saving emergency medical attention, agents transported the six illegal aliens to meet the Val Verde County Emergency Medical Services ground and air transportation where they were able to access higher levels of medical care.
“Thanks to the compassionate and dedicated men and women of the Del Rio Sector and the U.S. Border Patrol, who not only seek out illegal aliens, but also stand ready to render aid and save lives as the need arises,” Amidon said.
All illegal aliens were processed in accordance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines, the agency said.