SAN DIEGO — U.S. Border Patrol agents on Monday rescued two young children who had been hoisted over the U.S.-Mexico border and abandoned near Jacumba.
Agents found the six-year-old boy and his five-year-old sister around 3 p.m. Monday. By the time the agents reached the children, they were alone and crying with no way to communicate.
“It was a male and female, both adult, traveling with two children,” Border Patrol agent Angel Moreno told FOX 5. “Our agents noticed that after these individuals were walking as a group, they eventually started to hoist the two children over a set of boulders — rocks — where the primary fencing meets those boulders. The children were subsequently dropped.”
Border agents watched as the children were abandoned in the rough, desolate terrain.
“When our agents rescued these children, they had a note with the name of the mother and the phone number of the mother of the two children since they were siblings,” Moreno said. “The children also had the mother’s name and her phone number written on their forearms.”
Investigators say using children or any human being as bait is part of a strategy by criminals to divert attention away from their true goal.
“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances that these children are being put through by the smugglers,” Moreno said. “The smuggling organizations are the ones responsible for this. This isn’t an isolated or random incident. These incidences are very well-coordinated.”
The children are in the custody of U.S. Health and Human Services, where the goal will be for them to reunite with their families.
“This is definitely a diversionary tactic,” Moreno said. “I don’t think it’s anything new but it is something that, as the numbers increase in apprehensions, I think we’re going to see smugglers to go to any extent, any length to try and distract our agents so they can get their contraband or people are narcotics across.”