Human TraffickingNews

Smugglers fire at Border Patrol agent disrupting smuggling attempt

US CBP agents were shot at recently while attempting to apprehend a group of suspected migrants illegally entering the United States. In another incident armed suspects were spotted operating in the border area.

“Smuggling organizations are becoming desperate and escalating their level of violence because of the work being performed by U.S. Border Patrol agents,” said San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Patricia McGurk-Daniel. “Our agents are preventing smugglers from conducting their illicit business and this is their very dangerous response. This callous display clearly shows that smugglers do not care about the safety of migrants or law enforcement.”

On Aug. 18, a Border Patrol Agent encountered a group of suspected migrants in the Otay Mountain Wilderness area. While attempting to apprehend the group an unidentified individual fired multiple shots in the direction of the agent.

Additional agents responding to the area heard gunshots and observed muzzle flashes coming from the vicinity of the group. Moments later, agents heard a second volley of shots directed at them. The agents took cover as the group and the assailant returned to Mexico.

No agents were injured. The San Diego Sector Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) was deployed to secure the area and to clear it of any suspects or weapons, however none were found.

On Aug. 22, U.S. National Guard personnel operating a mobile scope spotted an armed individual climb the international border fence in the Otay Mountain Wilderness area. A day later two armed subjects were observed in the same area. BORTAC agents responded and searched the areas with negative results. Border Patrol San Diego Sector is coordinating with its foreign law enforcement partners and the government of Mexico to address these incidents.

“These incidents and individuals pose a significant danger to agents patrolling the area as well as migrants attempting to illegally enter,” said McGurk-Daniel emphasizes, “The safety of our agents, and the safety of migrants remains paramount. We remain vigilant in the face of escalating threats and danger, and we will work to identify and prosecute the responsible parties.”