Six rescued in Maricopa County, survived on cactus water

Six men who say they have been walking through the Arizona desert for the past ten days and who were abandoned by their guide contacted Maricopa County authorities seeking rescue. The men, who were out of water and relying on cactus water to survive, had become ill from a combination of the desert plant and the high temperatures before calling for help.

Working in conjunction with a Spanish translator in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s 911 call center, Sheriff’s deputies were notified of the problem at 6:45 a.m. They responded to the area near the Gunnery range and within three hours, deputies had located all members of the group.

The Maricopa County Sheriff said of the guides, “Sadly, human smuggling operations very often are conducted by people interested only in one thing –money and not the welfare of those they are smuggling.”

According to Sheriff Arpaio, all six men were fortunate as they were in relatively good condition complaining only of extreme hunger and thirst. Deputies drove all six to the nearest convenience store at their request and then contacted Border Patrol to notify them of the situation. The Sheriff’s call was cleared when Border Patrol officers met up with the group as they were being dropped off by deputies.

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