Operation Blazing Sands Continues to Curtail Smuggling Attempts

EL CENTRO, Calif. – Border Patrol Agents arrested a man suspected of alien smuggling in El Centro Sector Tuesday night.

The apprehension was part of the ongoing Operation Blazing Sands, a joint operation between El Centro and Yuma Border Patrol sectors.

The incident occurred at approximately 7:45 p.m., when agents observed a group of four individuals illegally enter the United States before loading into a blue Jeep Cherokee on Highway 98, west of Yuma.  Agents observed the Jeep drive east on highway 98.  Agents deployed a Vehicle Immobilization Device and effectively disabled the tires of the vehicle, but the Jeep continued down the highway.

After a short distance, the Jeep pulled over to the side of the highway, and all occupants jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the open desert.  Agents gave chase on foot, and arrested five people, including the driver of the Jeep.

All subjects were transported to the Calexico Border Patrol station for questioning.  The four passengers were identified as one female and three male, all citizens of Mexico without the proper documentation to enter or remain in the United States.  The driver was identified as a 38-year-old United States citizen.

“Operation Blazing Sands started earlier this month and already the Yuma and El Centro sectors have seen great success,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez.  “The two sectors will continue to combat the Transnational Criminal Organizations working to break the laws of our country.”

The four Mexican citizens will be held as material witnesses, while the driver will be held pending criminal prosecution.

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