Skip to comments.Soldiers spend hours tracking illegals on the fort (Fort Huachuca, AZ)
Posted on 02/06/2005 12:49:10 PM PST by 4.1O dana super trac pak
FORT HUACHUCA - Out of breath, Sgt. David Reilly quickly moved about three miles to intercept a group of illegal immigrants who were using this Southern Arizona Army post early Saturday morning as an avenue into the United States.
"They're using a different trail," a somewhat frustrated Reilly reported over a military radio channel.
Although not many illegal immigrants are detained on the post and turned over to the Border Patrol, the fact that such people use the fort as one of many northbound trails concerns installation officials.
In the past nine months, Reilly said he has detained more than 2,000 illegal immigrants on the fort.
On Friday morning, soldiers tracked another group of 60. Fifty-eight people were eventually apprehended by the Border Patrol off the installation. That group meandered on and off post property.
(Excerpt) Read more at svherald.com ...
The Herald doesn't require excerpts. This is a good story about cooperation between local (albeit, Federal) law enforcement and the ICE/CBP officers.
Garrison Commander Col. Jonathan Hunter has said he wants to put more of an emphasis in controlling the illegal immigrant traffic on the post.
Environmental protection officers like Reilly and Baughman are game wardens for the fort's more than 70,000 acres and keep an eye out for environmental damage, some linked to the movement of illegal immigrants, Weddell said. The section has six soldiers, three on each of the day and "dark" shifts.
Most of the illegal foot traffic occurs during the night operations, he said.
Baughman was looking for signs of illegal traffic when he heard two-way radio talk in Spanish in Huachuca Canyon, Reilly said.
"I sent him to check the road, to brush it," he said.
Brushing a road is to eliminate any signs of any previous foot traffic so the area can be checked later for new footprints - an indication that illegal immigrants may have passed by the area.
Knowing an area was brushed and when gives him and others in the section an indication of when there may have been foot traffic in a place where there should not be any, Reilly said.
As for hearing conversations, the soldier said illegal immigrants use small two-way radios to communicate while moving.
When Baughman called him and told him of what he heard, Reilly went to Reservoir Hill. Just before 7 p.m. Friday, he saw a group of about 50 illegal immigrants through a night scope in Huachuca Canyon, not far from family housing areas on the fort.
He called the Border Patrol for assistance because of the large number of illegal immigrants.
"I don't call them (the Border Patrol) until I'm sure how large the group is and what direction they are traveling," the sergeant said.
A seven-year Army veteran, the 28-year-old Californian said the job is physically challenging. Weddell said soldiers who want to be a member of the special section have to compete and besides being in the best physical condition they have to have common sense and be aggressive.
"They have to be self-starters," he added.
Reilly said walking around in dangerous terrain at night requires a person who is sure-footed.
Tracking of the group consumed almost a regular eight-hour shift. For Reilly, Baughman and the Border Patrol agents, the shift would last much longer.
An eight-hour shift can sometimes double.
On many occasions, Reilly has been called to provide assistance, even through he is technically off duty. The calls are hard on his wife and three children, but they understand his job.
"To me, it's all about the mission. Whatever the mission needs to get done, I'll do," Reilly said.
While the operation was called an interception, it had overtones of a military ambush. A trap was prepared for a hopefully unaware enemy.
When a pair of Border Patrol scope operators passed the word the trap was in the wrong place, Weddell said it is the ability of his soldiers and the agents to change emphasis and quickly get to an area to complete the operation.
It is an example of why the joint operations between the military and the federal agency are successful, Weddell said.
The rapid redeployment still surprised the illegal immigrants, even though some were able to flee.
Reilly continued to give radio updates to Weddell as he headed for the illegal immigrants.
"Twenty minutes to ETA (estimated time of arrival at the new area)," the soldier said.
Then a call came.
"We're about 10 minutes out (from the group of illegal immigrants)," Reilly said.
Reilly, Baughman and the agents then hid, waiting for the arrival of a Border Patrol helicopter to illuminate the area.
As the chopper arrived from the fort's Libby Army Airfield, a light from the aircraft changed part of the mountainous terrain from night to day.
Reilly's mike open, the sounds of the pursuers and the pursued could be heard around him. Illegal immigrants were told to stop, sit and given other directions.
Weddell said there has been a lot of preparation in the partnership between the MPs and the Border Patrol. They have trained together and have a better understanding of each other's responsibilities.
During operations, "adrenaline is 10 percent of your activity and success is how you use the other 90 percent," the major said.
There was a lot of bottled up adrenaline Saturday morning.
Moving closer to the action, Weddell, who initially stayed back so as not give away the possible location of his soldiers and the Border Patrol agents, got to the area as the helicopter's spotlight moved from one area to another.
The soldiers and agents turned their flashlights on and tracked down illegal immigrants.
One of the illegal immigrants climbed a tree in hopes of not being spotted. The helicopter was soon directly overhead, its light shining on the young man like he was on stage playing the most important role in his life.
Reilly was beneath the man, trying to entice him out of the tree. Instead of giving up the futile attempt not be taken, the illegal immigrant swung a fist at the soldier.
"I reached up and pulled him out of the tree," Reilly said.
That man ended up with his hands tied behind his back, a fate that two others received for struggling.
Soon, a dozen illegal immigrants were brought down to a rocky rock and made to sit down.
Two more joined the group, and then one by one the number of illegal immigrants grew until 22 men and three women were in custody.
Each illegal immigrant was searched. Lighters and tweezers were taken away from them.
When an illegal immigrant pulled money from his pocket, he was told to put the money back in his pocket.
"We don't touch money," Reilly said.
The illegal immigrants in the group were warmly dressed, many of them wearing similar jackets.
"I wonder whose their outfitter," a Border Patrol agent said.
As searches in the hilly terrain continued for others, the 25 illegal immigrants who were caught walked about a half mile to where a Border Patrol bus waited to take them to the agency's Naco Station for processing and treatment - a man fell and the right side of his face was bloody.
As the illegal immigrants arrived at the bus parked near Fort Huachuca's historic cemetery, not far from the Bonnie Blink family housing area, the looks on their faces ranged from sadness to bitterness. There was anger in some eyes, and tears in others.
For Reilly, the operation was a success.
The adrenaline rush gone, the hot sweat on Reilly's face turned cold in the early morning air, the temperature reading 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
The heat of the chase was over.
Sorry, all, I guess I should have put something at the beginning of that post to indicate that it is the rest of the article from the Herald.
I gotta practice my cut-n-paste one of these days.
Yep figured that.
I wonder what would happen if some of us were to decide to have a picnic on this base?
. "I reached up and pulled him out of the tree," Reilly said.
"That man ended up with his hands tied behind his back, a fate that two others received for struggling."
That silly illegal didn't read his govt. issued comic book.
I guess the illegal thought he was still on the Mexican side of the border dealing with the Mexican army.
I have tons of respect for border patrol agents!
Support Border Patrol.
You all deserve a raise instead of cuts.
Actually, you'd be fine...as long as you were able to convince the guard on the gate that you had a valid license and vehicle insurance.
Then again, unlike these folks, you'd be engaged in a legal activity!
If any town or county or state wants to rid itself of illegal laborers all it has do to is bust the people who employ them.
Local police and citizens know who the employers are and where the illegals live.
However too many people want the companies that employ illegals to be shut down, except the companies in their town that are paying all the taxes to support the schools and hospitals and police forces.
Sa,me old story, "Don't bust me, don't bust thee, bust that feller behind the tree."
It's sad, but, that's exactly how they think.
Why can't they just seal off the fort? Whatever it takes, do it.
But, were the captured ones deported?
I have the wonder if this is the future of law enforcement in this country?
We won't be a "United" States for long at this rate.
Arizona border fence:
Illegal trespassers ready to cross our "secure" barbed-wire fence "border".
Wouldn't it be funny if the government finally did something about this invasion because of the damage they're doing to the environment, rather than the damaage tbey're doing to our country and our society? They leave a swath of trash and destruction whatever route they use to steal in. I'd like to hear from from the Enviro-wackos about that.
Coming out from under wraps -- this is the first released photo of American Border Patrol's new Border Hawk III UAV. The coyotes will just love this.
Not necessarily related, but what do you guys think about the new thought.
That State Police can take on some of the Federal responsibility for detaining/deporting Illegals?
I want these Invaders treated how they deserve...IE. Cuffed, Stuffed, and Deported....forfeiting all assets they attained while here Illegally.
But isn't there supposed to be some separation between State and Federal Law Enforcement...? Not sure I like this idea any more than bringing the UN in on the border...
Doesn't look too small for a couple A-G pods...This thing's up and running now, right? Love it...
The lines of jurisdiction have become so blurred that they hardly exist anymore. And to be honest, I don't believe there is any real separation there.
You forgot Spayed + Neutered.
After all that is what you do to strays . . .
If we can use that to put some pressure on the govt, I'm all for it. All I've heard from the envirowhackos was them fighting a proposal to put up a two mile fence between SD and TJ.
That's the way the government wants this issue - blurred, just like the blurring of the line between legal and illegal. That way one agency can blame the other for not doing its job, and NOTHING GETS DONE, exactly what most of our leaders want.
Other than performing seasonal herd counts, the wildlife officers on Ft. Huachuca found themselves under-utilized. Using them to interdict aliens was a smart thing to do and has absolutely nothing to do with environmental issues.
You're misreading the article's statement of their job-titles to think something that isn't there.
Not that I'm against any enforcement of the border, but this administration doesn't make much sense. Say one thing, do another, and tell a third you didn't do either.
Lots of Americans are starting to notice that big flaw in the Bush administration. I think that the refusal to effectively enforce existing immigration laws and allowing several million more illegal aliens to cross our borders after 9/11/01 makes NO SENSE AT ALL (except to the globalists who are pushing for the FTAA).
Is California going to get enough signatures to get that drivers license initiative on the ballot? I hope so because it looks like one bill Gil is at it again. Not to be outdone we here in NY have our own one bill Gil with Félix Ortiz. Come to America illegally and get rewarded, yup that's the ticket.
I hope we will!! The deadline is coming up soon. People were discouraged after Proposition 187 was unfairly shot down, so it's hard to convince them that this one could succeed. We're working hard on it. I've sent in several signed petitions already. Wish us luck!
Good luck, the country's with you.
Thanks for the ping!
One thing, they'd better not piss the Presidente OFF, Fox that is..
Those markers have been there for decades. That's all we ever had.
And so a little question....why did we never need anything more than that, up until now?
A tiny little question...