US Mexican border 2007
Tohno O'odham Indian Reservation, Arizona
August 24, 2007
Army National Guard helicopter pilot Major George Harris and another National Guard pilot spot two vehicles hidden in trees along a road that cuts illegally through an Indian reservation on what is know as the "Secret Road". An illegal dirt road created and often used by smugglers that runs through the desert into the US.
The helicopter swoops down for a closer look. Having been spotted the vehicles (most likely packed with several hundred thousand dollars worth of drugs) makes a high speed run back to the Mexican border 40 minutes away.
The pilot calls in the border patrol but they cannot get there before the vehicles cross safely back into Mexico at "Christmas Pass".
The National Guard cannot arrest smugglers but can report them directly to the border patrol. As in this case, it is often too late.
Of the 6,000 National Guard originally deployed on the Arizona Mexican border in 2006, half now remain.