Air interdiction agent pilot aids in apprehension

MISSION, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents arrest 17 undocumented immigrants in a smuggling attempt. An air interdiction agent (AIA) pilot assisted in the apprehension of these individuals.

The arrest occurred Wednesday when Border Patrol agents from the McAllen Border Patrol station patrolling the river area south of Mission, Texas, responded to possible illegal activity.

As the agents approached the location, they requested air support assistance from an AIA pilot from the Rio Grande Valley Air and Marine Office. As the AIA pilot flew towards the area, the pilot observed a large number of individuals being loaded onto a green minivan.

From the air, the pilot followed the vehicle into the city of Mission.

Agents in the area were advised of the location and proceeded to stop the vehicle for an immigration check of its occupants. All subjects attempted to abscond from the vehicle.

Border Patrol agents arrested a total of 17 people that included 11 Mexicans, five Hondurans, and one from Guatemala.

Border Patrol seized the vehicle and transported them to the McAllen Border Patrol station for further processing. They will be deported from the United States back to their country of origin.