Maricopa Country Sheriff's Office, Border Patrol rescue 18 people in the desert

GILA BEND, AZ - Rescuers have found 18 people who have been lost in the desert for days.

According to MCSO spokesman Brandon Jones at 1:30 p.m. Friday, a member of the group called 911 asking for help.

The man told deputies he was part of 21 people that were split into two groups that were lost in the desert near Gila Bend, off Interstate 8.

Sheriff's deputies and Border Patrol agents searched the area from air and ground. 

Jones said the caller told Sheriff's dispatchers that his group had approximately 700 pounds of marijuana and had stashed it somewhere in the desert. He said the group would turn over the stash to deputies once they were rescued. 

The caller also said that the group had been in the desert for five days, the last three were without water. 

At around 7 p.m., a Sheriff's helicopter spotted and rescued two people in the desert. Border Patrol agents found three additional people in the search area. 

Around 9 p.m., Border Patrol agents found 13 other people in the desert. 

Bonney said based on information provided from the group rescued, there are no remaining people in the desert, bringing the total rescued people to 18.

Sheriff's deputies are continuing their investigation into the supposed drugs. 


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