Operation Stonegarden is a Department of Homeland Security program, managed by the Border Patrol. (U.S. Border Patrol)
TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Casa Grande Station assisted by a Pinal County helicopter crew apprehended a group of 18 Mexican and Central American nationals illegally present in the country northwest of Marana, Thursday morning.
A Pinal County Sheriff’s helicopter assisting border operations through Operation Stonegarden was alerted to the group’s presence after migrants activated a remote surveillance sensor along a desert trail.
Following a brief aerial search, agents spotted the group and deployed from the aircraft while a second group of tactical unit agents on the ground assisted.
The group, consisting of six nationals from Guatemala, six from Honduras, three from El Salvador, and three from Mexico, was apprehended without incident.
During a post arrest medical evaluation of the group, a Border Patrol agent trained as an emergency medical technician found a man in the group medically distressed. After further evaluation, the EMT determined the man needed a higher level of care and arranged for an aerial extraction.
The Pinal Air 1 helicopter transported the man to an awaiting ambulance that took him to a local hospital.
The remainder of the group was transported to the Casa Grande Station and processed for immigration violations.
Collaboration between state, local, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies has created a greater force against transnational criminal organizations in southern Arizona and made our communities safer.
Operation Stonegarden is a Department of Homeland Security program, managed by the Border Patrol, which grants funds to other law enforcement agencies to enhance and strengthen border security throughout the United States.
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection