10/26/2007

Drug smuggler rams Border Patrol with car; suspect shot

The Associated Press

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. A suspected drug-runner was shot and wounded by a federal agent after he rammed a U.S. Border Patrol truck along the U.S.-Mexico border near Douglas, authorities said.

The man was attempting to drive back into Mexico Thursday afternoon when the incident occurred, said Vincent Picard, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman.

"An ICE special agent was concerned that the lives of the agents in that Border Patrol vehicle were in danger, and he was also concerned for his own safety and so he shot the driver of the vehicle," Picard said.

ICE agents were on the border along with Border Patrol agents and Douglas police, working on an ongoing drug smuggling interdiction operation, Picard said.

Cochise County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Carol Capas said the man appeared to have non life-threatening injuries. He was flown to a Tucson hospital for treatment.

The sheriff's office is investigating the shooting.

Picard said there have been several recent incidents where smugglers rammed law enforcement vehicles trying to stop them.

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