By Miriam Raftery
October 19, 2010 (Campo) -- A tip from the Campo Minutemen led to apprehension of two men charged with smuggling horses across the international border on Friday.
“Campo Minutemen have twice observed a new occurrence at the border this month—horses,” a blog entry posted by the group stated.
One the first occasion, a Minuteman member saw a man riding a horse and leading two other horses with saddles. The witness called Border Patrol. The next week, his dog alerted him to a group of four horses along the border fence, wikth no saddles. Soon after, a horse trailer pulled up and a man loaded the horses into it.
“The trailer was so heavy it got stuck in the dirt,” said the blog entry, which added that the Border Patrol asked the Minuteman’s lead to help the men proceed so that Border Patrol officers could follow and determine what was happening.
The Union-Tribune reports that on Friday, after observing two men cross the international border illegally with five horses in a canyon near Campo, Border Patrol agents next saw the men return with a trailer towed by a pickup truck and loaded up the horses. Soon after, Border Patrol stopped the pickup truck on Highway 94 and also stopped a second man riding a horse that he had offloaded from the trailer. The suspected smugglers were arrested and their vehicles seized. The six horses were taken to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for quarantine and future action.
Recently, wild horses were found running through streets of Otay Mesa. It is unclear whether that incident may be related to smuggling efforts.