SPECIAL REPORT: Border Patrol’s Eyes in the Sky

RGV (KFXV) — There are many branches to securing the border on land, air and water.

Numbers have gone down but according to U.S. and Border Protection officials, assaults are on the rise against agents.

Air interdiction is crucial to protect the border. Tonight, we take a closer look at how this task is accomplished and the challenges that are faced in the sky.

The Rio Grande Valley sector is a ‘hot zone’ ranking number one in human smuggling and number two in drug smuggling.

Air and marine agents protect the border from the gulf of Mexico to Falcon.

Flying over the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge, agents spotted a known ‘scout’.

Apprehension numbers showing a decrease in the last three month but, a couple of minutes after take off, they were called out to help agents on the ground.

In a matter of minutes, and miles west of that location– in Rio Grande City– providing assistance as smugglers abandoned merchandise and swam back to Mexico, to avoid getting caught.

Air interdiction is vital to border security but being the ‘eyes in the sky’ also comes with its challenges.

The McAllen Air Branch is comprised of two Cessna’s, three Huey helicopters and 10 Astar helicopters.

Despite the immigration and drug smuggling numbers going down, these agents say their priority is keeping the border safe from criminals.

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