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Agents rescue 4 dehydrated undocumented immigrants

May 11, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

In a scene that likely will be repeated time and time again this summer, U.S. Border Patrol agents found four undocumented immigrants Thursday in the county's west desert suffering from dehydration.

According to Border Patrol spokesman Manuel Figueroa, agents encountered a man walking in the desert about 6 a.m.

The man told agents he was with a group of four more people who had been walking through the desert for two days without food and water.

The man said those he was with were in poor condition and he had left them to find help.

The Border Patrol's El Centro station then deployed its desert rescue team.

About one hour later the group was found in the desert southwest of Interstate 8 and Dunaway Road. All four were suffering from mild dehydration. They were treated by Border Patrol medical technicians at the scene and did not require hospital treatment.

The Mexican consulate was notified and conducted interviews with the individuals, then the immigrants voluntarily returned to Mexico, according to a Border Patrol press release.

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In another incident Wednesday, a Border Patrol helicopter crew spotted a vehicle that had entered the country illegally through the west desert.

The helicopter followed the vehicle, relaying information to ground units.

Agents attempted to stop the driver using tire-deflation devices, but the driver reportedly drove at the agents, forcing the agents to jump out of the way.

Minutes later the vehicle crashed into an irrigated agricultural field and became stuck.

Agents then arrested the driver and 13 undocumented immigrants.

Border Patrol officials stated the driver will be prosecuted for smuggling undocumented immigrants.

An investigation revealed the vehicle had been stolen from Las Vegas.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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