SANDERSON - NewsWest 9 followed along as Big Bend Border Patrol Agents search for a group who crossed over the Rio Grande during the night hours. Their attention to detail is crucial on a daily basis when it comes to arresting smugglers.
Agua Verde, a rough remote region located more than a dozen miles south from the town of Dryden. This time agents are searching for a group who crossed in the late night hours.
"They're resting because they walked all night. Got a full moon, so it's almost like daylight out here at night when we got a full moon. So they can see and navigate and walk. They'll walk at night because it's an advantage to them and a disadvantage to us," Big Bend Sector Public Officer, Rush Carter, said.
Carter along with other agents are trying to incept them. Tracking them footprint by footprint.
"Have to be real careful when we're cutting here and take our time and look for those kicked over rocks, hopefully a foot print. Something to give us a clue that someone passed through this area," Carter said.
Border Patrol agents know the Big Bend Area is becoming a popular place for narcotic and immigrant smuggling. The most common final destination is usually the Dallas-Forth Worth area. The agents mission is to stop them before they cross Highway 90 and continue on that path.
Agents exchange coordinates on places they've checked and just before the late afternoon hours hit, jackpot. A fleet of agents arrive to the area and begin to track the footprints found, fast by foot.
"They knew they're battling against the clock. So we got about, maybe, five miles between here and Highway 90," Carter said.
Many argue immigrants cross onto American soil seeking a better life and work but at times agents also encounter criminals trying to come back.
"We don't have any way of knowing of who they are, until we apprehend them. It could be bad folks, we apprehended a man that had been charged with manslaughter in San Antonio and did ten years on that charge. He actually killed a police officer in a hit and run. He did his time, was deported and then tried to re-enter the country and we apprehended him. Alpine agents apprehended him and deported him again. You never know who's coming and that's the security risk, who is it," Carter said.
Intel has been able to determine that the group may be staying somewhere deep in the canyon. As the sun starts to set, ATV agents are called in for backup for a speedy search.
Border Patrol Agents were able to locate the group deep inside the canyon, they say they crossed near the Paso Colorado crossing in Terrell County. Nine out of the ten Mexican nationals that they were looking for were arrested and processed for removal.
"They also convey, they're trying to get here to better their lives most of the time. But what I convey to them is that we're out here doing our job to secure the border and when we apprehend people like that, it's just our job and what we've been tasked with," Carter said.