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Old 08-25-2011, 01:14 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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Default Smugglers reportedly robbed by armed men

Smugglers reportedly robbed by armed men
Peck Canyon near Rio Rico was once again the scene of a borderland hijacking when armed bandits reportedly robbed a group of drug smugglers on Friday.

On Saturday morning, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies met with an undocumented border-crosser at the Nogales Border Patrol station who claimed to have been assaulted near Atascosa Ranch by male subjects carrying AK-47s.

Alberto Rivera, 43, told the deputies at approximately 3 p.m. on Friday, he was traveling with a group of eight other people who were transporting bundles of marijuana into the United States. As they were walking in the Peck Canyon area, the group encountered five men carrying assault rifles, Rivera said. “Mr. Rivera stated the group dropped the bundles and ran and as they fled he heard a gunshot,” said sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Raoul Rodriguez. “Thankfully, no one was injured and they all got away.”

Rodriguez said the group met up again and continued walking until Border Patrol agents approached them.

“The subjects fled in an attempt to avoid apprehension,” Rodriguez said. “However, Mr. Rivera was arrested.”

The Peck Canyon area has been the site of a number of similar robberies and shootings in recent years. On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed in the area while he and his special BORTAC tactical team attempted to apprehend a group of suspected border bandits.

Two AK-47s were recovered at the scene of Terry’s murder and eventually traced to an ATF operation known as “Fast and Furious” that allowed assault rifles to “walk” into Mexico.

Mario Escalante, spokesman for the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, said he could not comment on whether the Border Patrol is still deploying BORTAC units to the troubled area, but added that that “these are things (the Border Patrol) takes seriously.”
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