An illegal immigrant caught crossing the border in southern Arizona was arrested after he collapsed while going in and out of consciousness in the desert.
Carlos Vargas-Verdin, 44, was rescued around 11 p.m. Monday. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents found Vargas-Verdin after he was caught on surveillance camera laying on the ground.
Agents, vehicles and eventually a helicopter came to the rescue of Vargas-Verdin.
The rescue was made difficult due to muddy conditions as southern Arizona is currently experiencing a monsoon season.
Agents didn’t realize who was rescued until the rescue was complete.
“When we ran his fingerprints through a criminal background check, we quickly realized that he had an outstanding warrant in Canadian County in Oklahoma for possession of dangerous drugs,” Tucson Sector Agent Joe Curran said.
Border Patrol agents from the Tucson Sector said this area has become a new hotspot of illegal traffic.
Vargas-Verdin, according to Border Patrol agents, has crossed illegally numerous times.
“Unfortunately, we encounter people like that all the time who have multiple crossings, who have done crimes across the United States and we catch them trying to come back illegally, usually to those same communities that they’ve committed those crimes in,” Curran said.
Vargas-Verdin will be extradited back to Oklahoma in coming days.
“This is a prime example of that, of what happens at the border does not just stay at the border,” Curran said. “These are issues that impact places all across the United States, just like Canadian County.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Tucson Sector has more than 230 EMTs and dozens of paramedics can render immediate care in the field, as well as in route to advanced medical facilities to individuals in critical need.
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