US Border Patrol Agents/AMO Break up Smuggling Ring

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents, aided by an aircrew from Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Yuma Air Branch, intercepted a human smuggling attempt Wednesday in Yuma, Arizona.

Late Wednesday morning, Yuma Sector agents observed two suspicious SUVs at a residence in Somerton, Arizona. Agents followed both vehicles, a Ford Expedition and a Chevrolet Suburban, and initiated a traffic stop near 32nd Street and Avenue E. in Yuma. The first vehicle stopped at 5E and 40th Street, enabling agents to apprehend all six occupants.

The second vehicle, however, failed to yield, and drove north in the southbound lanes of Pacific Avenue. For safety reasons, Border Patrol agents immediately ended the pursuit, but an Air and Marine Operations helicopter continued to track the vehicle. When the Suburban pulled into a condominium complex, the driver and six passengers ran from the vehicle attempting to hide in various areas within the complex. The Air and Marine Operations pilot communicated the locations of all the occupants to agents on the ground who were able to apprehend everyone in the vehicle.

Agents discovered small amounts of methamphetamine in each SUV and found a loaded 9 mm handgun and a loaded magazine lying on the ground near the vehicle. Both drivers were U.S. citizens, and all passengers were citizens of Mexico.

“This is yet another example of how hard our agents work,” according to Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Chris Clem. “We have great relationships with all our law enforcement partners who aid us in our border security mission”.

“We stand ready to assist our partners with Border Patrol,” said Yuma Air Branch Director, Douglas Murray. “We work well together each day, to make our neighborhoods safe from illicit activities.”