Operation Blazing Sands Yields Arrest of Three More Smugglers

Release Date:
August 24, 2018

EL CENTRO, Calif. – Border Patrol Agents arrested three suspected alien smugglers in El Centro Thursday night.

The apprehension was part of the ongoing Operation Blazing Sands, a joint operation between El Centro and Yuma Border Patrol sectors.  On Aug. 21, agents arrested one more smuggler under this operation.

The incident occurred at approximately 7:46 p.m., when agents observed a group of five individuals illegally enter the United States before loading into a blue PT Cruiser on Interstate-8, west of Yuma.  Agents observed the PT Cruiser drive west on Interstate 8.  Additionally, agents identified a black VW Beetle acting as a lookout for the PT Cruiser containing the suspected illegal aliens.

With the assistance of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations assets, agents were able to follow both vehicles to a gas station in El Centro.  Agents approached both vehicles at the gas station, identified themselves, and determined that the PT Cruiser contained four passengers determined to be illegally present in the United States.  The driver was a United States citizen.

The black VW Beetle contained two United States citizens that were accomplices in the smuggling case.

“The coordinated efforts between El Centro and Yuma sectors combined with CBP Air and Marine Operations will continue to put a stranglehold on transnational criminal organizations who falsely believe that their activity will have no consequences,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez.

All three United States citizens will be held pending criminal prosecution.  The four individuals will remain in custody as material witnesses.

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