TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a group of eight illegal aliens from Guatemala with the assistance a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office helicopter crew participating in Operation Stonegarden southeast of Ajo, Wednesday morning.
Agents utilizing portable surveillance technology observed the group in a wash several miles north of the international border. A Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Huey OH1 helicopter deployed agents and a canine to search for the group on the ground.
Approximately 30 minutes into the search, the canine team found the group hidden in the brush. The group, presumably abandoned by their smuggler, included eight Guatemalan males ranging from 16 to 43 years of age.
The group was transported to the Casa Grande Station for further processing of immigration violations. During processing, agents learned that four of the men were previously removed from the country.
Collaboration between state, local, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies has created a greater force against transnational criminal organizations in southern Arizona and the disruption of illicit activities in border communities.
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.
A group of illegal aliens from Guatemala were apprehended during Operation Stonegarden southeast of Ajo, Arizona Feb. 20.