Nov 1, 2012 2:18 PM
TUCSON - Pinal County Sheriff's officials say deputies were called to the border two times this week after armed "Rip Crews" allegedly confronted two groups of illegal immigrants, stole the money or marijuana they were carrying, and shot one of them.
At about 8 a.m. Tuesday, deputies responded to an area near the "La Osa Ranch," after receiving a 911 call regarding a shooting, according to a news release from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. Deputies found a 42-year-old man who said he had crossed the border illegally 10 days earlier on foot, and was confronted by three armed subjects wearing camouflage and black masks, armed with semi-automatic handguns.
The suspects demanded money; the victim told them he had none. One of the Rip Crew members began pistol-whipping the man, and when he fought back, he was shot in the leg, the release states. The other two men with the victim fled, and then later returned to help him to a nearby road. The victim stayed on the road while his friends fled back into the desert.
A resident noticed the victim while driving and called 911. He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for the gunshot and several fractures to his face, the release states.
Deputies later found the scene of the shooting and located a friend of the victim. The area was checked by deputies and Border Patrol agents, but no suspects were located.
At about 7 p.m. on Wednesday, the sheriff's office received a 911 call from an unidentified Hispanic man who said he'd been shot, the release states. Deputies responded to his location, which was found using the phone's GPS, and located the victim and another Hispanic man. They were transported and the victim was treated for a gunshot wound to his buttocks.
The second man told deputies they were part of an eight-man backpacking crew carrying marijuana. They were approached by a five-member Rip Crew armed with rifles near Interstate 8. As the backpackers fled, the Rip Crew opened fire on the group, and the victim was shot in the buttocks, the victim told deputies. The area was searched and two other Hispanic men were located; one admitted he was in the group of backpackers.
All men in both instances were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.