Mexican Military Helicopter Crosses Border, Fires On US Agents

Friday, 27 Jun 2014 02:11 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol confirmed that two of its agents were fired on Thursday by Mexican military helicopters that had illegally crossed the border into Arizona.

Andy Adame, spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, issued a statement to KVOA-TV confirming the shooting and said the matter "is currently under investigation."

The agents, who were unharmed, were conducting a drug interdiction operation west of the San Miguel Gate on the Tohono O'odham Nation's reservation.

According to a statement from Art Del Cueto, president of the union representing the Border Patrol Tucson Sector, Mexico contacted U.S. authorities to offer an apology after the helicopters had crossed back over the border, News 4 Tucson reported.

This is not the first time members of Mexican law enforcement crossed the U.S. border without permission.

In a written response to a request from Rep. Duncan Hunter, the Department of Homeland Security stated that there have been a total of 300 documented incursions by Mexican military and law enforcement authorities since Jan. 1, 2004. Of those incidents, 152 involved armed subjects.

Hunter, a California Republican, believes the number misrepresents the actual number of incursions and criticized the DHS for "a clear lack of consistency among DHS in handling these incidents, especially in cases of unauthorized incursions with armed authorities."

Of the 81 armed encounters, a total of 131 subjects were detained.

The latest incident occurred at a time when a U.S. Marine remains imprisoned in Mexico after accidentally crossing the border with three legally purchased guns in his possession.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who served two tours in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD, has been languishing in the El Hongo II prison in Tecate, Mexico, since March.


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