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Brian Luke Community Blogger, WGRZ-TV

Friday, June 3, 2011

U.S. Border Patrol Seizes $290k worth of Narcotics, Conducts Rescue, Arrest Two Sex Offenders over Holiday Weekend

Imperial County, Calif. – A busy Memorial Day weekend for U.S. Border Patrol resulted in the rescuing of a distressed mountain hiker, two separate narcotics seizures worth more than $290,000, and the arrests of two illegal aliens convicted of felony sex offenses.
At approximately 10:20 p.m. Sunday, agents from the El Centro Station arrested four illegal aliens attempting to smuggle two duffel bags full of marijuana into the United States from Mexico. The arrest took place after a Border Patrol remote video surveillance system operator spotted the individuals traveling northbound through the desert near Ocotillo. Nearby agents were notified and responded to the smugglers’ location. All four subjects were apprehended carrying a duffel bag containing marijuana which totaled over 100 pounds. The marijuana has an estimated value of more than $82,000. All suspects and narcotics were turned over to the Imperial County Narcotics Task Force.

The rescue occurred Sunday around 7:40 p.m. when Border Patrol agents assigned to Border Search Trauma and Rescue Team were requested by local authorities to assist in locating a man who had made a distress call near Jucumba. At approximately 8:30 p.m., BORSTAR made contact with the individual who appeared to be in stable condition but had sustained injuries to both ankles. The 37-year old man - a United States citizen - claimed to have been hiking in the mountains when he fell an estimated 15 feet rendering him unable to walk. BORSTAR members provided immediate care and the man was extracted from the mountains and transported to the El Centro Regional Medical Center for further treatment.

Earlier that day at around 3 p.m., agents assigned to the Calexico Station encountered a blue Jeep Liberty at the Interstate 8 Checkpoint near Calexico. Agents became suspicious after questioning the driver and passenger of the vehicle during primary inspection. The driver, a 19-year-old Mexican citizen with a lawful permanent resident card was placed in secondary inspection where a Border Patrol canine team performed a cursory search of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert. After a thorough search of the vehicle, agents discovered several packages of methamphetamine and cocaine hidden throughout multiple non-factory compartments. The narcotics weighed approximately 9 pounds, valued at more than $211,000. The driver and passenger - a 20-year-old male U.S. Citizen - were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the vehicle and narcotics.

Saturday, in two separate incidents, agents from the El Centro Station arrested two groups of illegal aliens attempting to enter the United States illegally from Mexico. The group apprehensions took place at around 11:30 p.m. and occurred at approximately three and 27 miles west of Calexico. Both groups were transported to the El Centro Border Patrol Station where agents discovered that two of the illegal aliens are aggravated felons with criminal history for felony sex offenses. The men were identified as 35-year-old Gelberth Ermilio Albornos-Muy and 29-year-old Miguel Rodriguez-Sanchez. Muy’s conviction was in Los Angeles in 2007 for felony oral copulation with a person under the age of 16. Sanchez was also convicted in Los Angeles in 2005 for felony sex with a minor. Both suspects are Mexican citizens who had previously been deported from the United States. They are currently being held by the U.S. Border Patrol pending federal immigration charges.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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