TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A disturbing trend is surfacing near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Among the illegal immigr ants and drug traffickers arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector is an increasing number of convicted sex offenders.
According to federal officials, agents in the Tucson Sector have arrested 46 sex offenders so far this fiscal year, 10 since March 1.
That's a significant spike in a very short period of time.
Sector officials said a total of 69 sex offenders were arrested in fiscal year 2015.
"Border Patrol agents encounter sex offenders, various people with criminal histories in their course of duty nearly every day," said agent Adrienne Crowley, a spokeswoman for the Tucson Sector.
Such was the case Sunday, March 13, when Victor Roberto Hernandez-Dolores - a 33-year-old citizen of Mexico - was arrested near Three Points after attempting to enter the country illegally.
A records check showed he was convicted of felony child molestation in Georgia and deported in December 2014.
Every person arrested by the Border Patrol undergoes extensive background checks across multiple databases.
The goal is to make sure violent criminals aren't falling through the cracks.
Sunday's arrest near Three Points is the latest case in point.
"Border Patrol agents in Tucson Sector face various threats in the field," Crowley said. "Every person they encounter potentially has a criminal history so we really don't know what we're working with until we bring that person in and run those records checks. Agents are working every day to make our community safer … by getting those people off the streets."
Of the last 10 sex offenders arrested by agents in the Tucson Sector, eight are from Mexico and the other two are from El Salvador and Honduras.
The perception is that most illegal immigr ants come from Mexico.
That's certainly true.
But Border Patrol also sees illegal visitors - and sex offenders - from Central America, South America and other parts of the world.