Apprehensions by Border Patrol down last month

March 02, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

Apprehensions of illegal immigrants went down 31 percent in February in the U.S. Border Patrol's El Centro sector, according to a press release from the Border Patrol.

The press release stated in February the total number of apprehensions of undocumented immigrants in the sector was 21,407, down from 31,072 in February 2000.

The number of apprehensions for fiscal 2001, which started Oct. 1, is 72,077. In February 2000 the fiscal year total was 85,599. The year-to-date figures are down 16 percent.

Local Border Patrol spokesman Manny Figueroa said agency officials don't know why the apprehension numbers are down.

"It could be the weather or could be the political changing (in Mexico), but we're still keeping an eye to see if it'll increase," said Figueroa.


He said manpower along the border has been increased by more than 100 agents in the sector in the last year, which might have helped deter illegal border-crossers.

Narcotics seizure numbers for February also were released by the Border Patrol.

Five seizures were made in February in the El Centro sector, all near the border. Four apprehensions involved marijuana and one involved cocaine. In January there were six narcotics seizures in the sector.

A total of 39 seizures have been made in fiscal 2001.

The total amount of marijuana seized in January was 316.19 pounds. In February the amount of seized marijuana was 396.67 pounds. A total of 121.95 pounds of cocaine was seized.

The total amount of narcotics seized for fiscal 2001 is 7,747.84 pounds of marijuana and 121.95 pounds of cocaine.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 370-8549.

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