Smuggler’s Brazen Assault On Border Patrol Agent Leads To 5 Arrests

A USBP agent in San Diego was assaulted this weekend under the cover of darkness at the border wall. She was treated at an area hospital with contusions on her arms and facial laceration. [Photo courtesy CBP]

SAN DIEGO, AZ – On Wednesday, September 1st, 2021, the U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector in collaboration with the Government of Mexico conducted an operation targeting the organization believed to be responsible for the assault on a Border Patrol agent.

A total of five individuals were arrested, to include one United States Citizen. Ammunition, narcotics, vehicles, and a cache of makeshift ladders used for smuggling purposes were also seized.

On Saturday, August 28, 2021, at approximately 3:15 a.m., two miles east of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, a Border Patrol agent was assaulted in the line of duty.  The agent was attempting to apprehend approximately 12 to 15 migrants who were in between the primary and secondary border walls.  When the group was alerted to the agent’s presence in the area, they scaled the primary border wall and absconded back into Mexico.  As the lone agent attempted to recover the makeshift ladder used by the group, a member of the group grabbed the ladder and a struggle ensued.

Government of Mexico officials seized numerous rounds of various calibers.

Under the cover of darkness, a smuggler in Mexico struck out at the agent through a slot in the wall, hitting the agent with a large object, believed to be a 2×4 board.  The injured Border Patrol agent retrieved the ladder and retreated to safety.  Backup agents quickly arrived at the site and transported the injured agent to a local hospital where she was treated for contusions and facial lacerations.

This incident represents the third assault against Border Patrol Agents in San Diego during the past month.  It also adds to other recent incidents, including shots fired at agents in San Diego and Texas, prompting a response from U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.

Immediately following the assault, the U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector (USBP SDC) Foreign Operations Branch (FOB) began coordination with GOM to target the Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) responsible for the assault, sharing current information of known smugglers in the area where the assault took place with GOM to assist in the investigation.

The Government of Mexico’s (GoM) Fiscalia General de la Republica (FGR) executed two search warrants resulting in the arrest of a United States Citizen and four Mexican Nationals. Additionally, five vehicles, a residential property, an undisclosed amount of fentanyl pills, a half kilogram of methamphetamine, numerous rounds of various ammunition, and a cache of ready-to-use ladders were seized in connection with Saturday’s assault.

“I commend our agents and Mexico law enforcement partners on these arrests and seizures, said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke. “Assaults against our agents will never be tolerated and as witnessed by this operation, we will always leverage our resources and strong binational partnerships to bring the perpetrators and their criminal associates to justice regardless of where they hide.”