VAN HORN, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol Agents seized approximately 700 pounds of marijuana in less than 24 hours with the assistance of air support and night vision technology.
“Day or night, on foot or in the sky we will combat transnational criminal organizations with all available assets.” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak said, “These seizures reflect the unity of effort among law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe.”
On Sunday night Van Horn Agents responded to a group of individuals detected with night vision technology. These individuals were believed to have made an illegal entry into the United States. When the agents arrived at the individuals’ last known location, multiple sets of footprints traveling northbound were discovered. Agents tracked the individuals’ footprints throughout the night.
On Monday, at approximately 4:00 a.m., agents along with a service canine approached several individuals, believed to be the same individuals spotted and footprints tracked from the previous night, to effect an arrest. The individuals absconded from the agents leaving behind seven make-shift rectangular burlap backpacks. The contents of the backpacks tested positive for marijuana and had a combined weight of over 400 pounds.
At approximately 10:00 a.m., CBP Alpine Air Unit, utilizing an AS350 aircraft, observed five individuals in a desolate area south of Van Horn, Texas walking with large rectangular backpacks. A Texas Department of Public Safety Air Unit responded to the area and assisted in keeping the individuals from absconding. A short while later agents from the Van Horn and Sierra Blanca Station, along with a service canine, arrived at the individuals’ location to effect an arrest. The agents were able to successfully arrest four out of the five subjects and seized five backpacks later determined to contain marijuana, and had a combined weight of approximately 300 pounds.
Agents determined the individuals were citizens and nationals of Mexico illegally present in the United States. Van Horn Agents are continuing to search for all absconded subjects.
The subjects in custody and the narcotics seized were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.