TUCSON- The numbers may be down over the last two months but compared to this time last year the number of arrests on the border is up more than 60 percent.
“We catch people from around the world on the southwest border and Tucson sector is no different,” Jacob Stuckenberg U.S. Border Patrol Agent said.
Just last week U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say they arrested a sex offender and an MS-13 gang member.
Two dangerous criminals arrested by #USBP Casa Grande agents. #AlwaysVigilant law enforcement professionals @CBP stopped convicted sex offender & MS-13 gang member from reaching American communities again. Details: https://t.co/jpZwvFb62s pic.twitter.com/faSby4PxKU
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) February 4, 2019
“Agents were out on patrol of the border. They worked with other agents that we’re using other technological equipment such as cameras and sensors,” Stuckenberg said, “Which helped direct the agents to the individuals that were trying to evade arrest.”
Then on Thursday agents apprehended 325 central Americans near Lukeville. Nearly half of the group are minors.
A large group of 325 Central Americans were apprehended by @CBP #USBP agents near Lukeville Thursday, where limited infrastructure is currently located and smugglers continue to take advantage. Details: https://t.co/0SaXSyvXVD pic.twitter.com/iLJa0jnqST
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) February 8, 2019
“We are seeing something that we’ve never really seen here in the Tucson sector…We are seeing more individuals from countries other than Mexico,” Stuckenberg said
Right now the Pentagon is sending around 3,750 additional troops to the U.S.Mexico border. Bringing the total number of active duty troops on the border to 4,350.
“They’re doing a lot of logistical work, background work, things of that nature. One thing to note is that they do not have any enforcement authority,” Stuckenberg said, “So they’re not making arrests but they are out there helping us.”
No word yet on how many of those troops will be headed to Arizona.