Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona


A Border Patrol agent shot a man who had fled in a marijuana-loaded pickup truck on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, an agency spokesman said. He said the unidentified agent was pursuing two men in a pickup truck March 23 on tribal Highway 34 near Vaya Chin, about 40 miles north of the border. Bales of marijuana bounced out during the pursuit, and the two men fled into the desert when the truck stopped. The agent caught one, a struggle ensued, and the man was fatally wounded. A large amount of marijuana was found. The spokesman said resistance increased as the patrol stepped up efforts to combat drug and people smuggling in the Tucson sector that covers most of Arizona's border with Mexico. In 1999 there were 198 assaults and 43 armed encounters. The shooting came during a 24-hour period when agents apprehended nearly 200 illegal immigrants in motels, an abandoned camping trailer and homes in different areas of the border. Agents, following up on a tip about possible illegal immigrants, found about 180 pounds of marijuana inside a pickup truck with a camper shell. The driver jumped out, leaving the truck running, and it crashed through a barbed wire fence and into a mesquite tree near Pirtleville.