U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement yesterday, April 21, on the death of a man who crossed the U.S. – Canada border illegally earlier this year.
On February 19, at approximately 11 p.m., U.S. Border Patrol personnel operating a remote camera detected a group of three individuals suspected of illegally entering the United States from Canada into Vermont. Border Patrol radio communication personnel transmitted information about the individuals to Border Patrol agents and, at approximately 11:15 p.m., patrolling agents responded to the area approximately 1.9 miles southeast of the Derby Line, Vermont Port of Entry, to apprehend the group.
Two of the individuals fled on foot northbound towards the Canadian border as Border Patrol agents approached the group. Agents noticed the third person was propping himself against a tree. An agent observed this man groan loudly and collapse to the ground in medical distress a short time later.
The Border Patrol agents requested emergency medical services via radio and performed chest compressions on the man until emergency medical services arrived. A local ambulance crew arrived at approximately 11:40 p.m., took over primary care, and attached an automated external defibrillator to the man’s chest. The ambulance transported the man to a local hospital in Newport where the man, later identified as a citizen of Mexico, was pronounced deceased by a doctor at 12:34 a.m.
This incident is under investigation by the Vermont State Police and under review by Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The DHS Office of Inspector General was also notified.