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3/30: Border Patrol apprehends suspected 'rip crew'

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    Border Patrol apprehends suspected rip crew Friday, March 30, 2012 By JB Miller For the Nogales International Border Patrol agents apprehended three
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2012
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      Border Patrol apprehends suspected 'rip crew'


      Friday, March 30, 2012
      By JB Miller
      For the Nogales International

      Border Patrol agents apprehended three suspected bandits Wednesday in a remote area of Santa Cruz County that has been plagued in recent years by roving gangs known as “rip crews.”

      On Wednesday at 2:56 a.m., the Nogales Border Patrol Station reported to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office that agents had detained three undocumented immigrants who claimed they were assaulted sometime the night before in an area west of the Interstate 19 checkpoint.
      “As the result of that information, early Wednesday morning, agents from the Tucson Sector Border Patrol apprehended three suspected bandits in a remote area west of Tubac,” said ICE spokesperson Amber Cargile. “The effort was part of an ongoing joint, targeted Homeland Security enforcement effort by Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Nogales to target bandit ‘rip crews' in the mountainous areas near Tucson and Nogales.”
       
      On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed by suspected border bandits after he and his BORTAC tactical unit were sent into the Tumacacori Mountains to flesh out the rip crews that had been assaulting economic migrants and stealing drugs from smugglers in the area.

      Since Terry's death, nearly a dozen more incidents have been reported in the canyonlands west of Nogales in which illegal border-crossers have been robbed often at gunpoint by masked men. On Tuesday of this week, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office investigated an incident in which a group of undocumented migrants were reportedly robbed in an area southwest of Arivaca Lake. One of the victims said there were three assailants armed with assault rifles and a pistol.

      However, with the exception of the Terry shooting, no arrests have been reported in any of the incidents until now.
      Two brothers from Mexico are currently facing charges in the Terry case, including a man who was shot during the gunbattle that left Terry dead. However, at least one other suspect – the likely triggerman who killed Terry – is still at large.

      However, Cargile said the men arrested Wednesday are not suspects in the Terry murder. She called the incident for which they are charged “an isolated incident.”

      Cargile did not immediately release the names of the three men who were arrested on Wednesday, but she said they were presented in federal court the following on hostage-taking charges and were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

      “The case is still ongoing,” she added.
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