Boy Scouts camped in smuggling corridor
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Why would the Boy Scouts camp in a notorious drug corridor?
They camped in a remote site near Sonoita.
The Scouts were working on survival merit badges, but one 14 year old boy wandered from his camp, saw flashlights and got worried.
Cell signals are weak there but he managed to call 911.
Seven Pima County deputies, Border Patrol, and a Border Patrol Helicopter all came together to rescue him.
Pima Sheriff's Deputy Tom Peine says of the location, "You need to use precautions when you go into an area like that where it is know than such activity is taking place and people have to make their own call, what they do, what they feel is the right thing to do."
A recording of the Scout talking to 911 makes it clear an adult Scoutmaster knew the camping site could expose the young Scouts to smuggling traffic.
Scout: "Our Scoutmaster told us there might be, like, illegal immigrants trying to cross through there and that's why they want to..."
911 Operator: "That's part of our concern."
We wanted to ask the Scouts whether anyone considered that area's reputation.
Ken Tucker, the Scout Executive for the Catalina Council sent a statement prepared before the release of the 911 recording.
It says in part:
"Scouts were given instructions on how to get back to the main campsite and were checked on frequently by adult leaders. ..We will carefully evaluate this situation to see if there are any safety enhancements that may be appropriate."
Scout camping precautions say consider animals, dehydration, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, frostbite, poisonous plants, lightning strikes, flash floods and even avalanches. They don't mention of gun-toting smugglers.
The rescued Scout may have mixed success on his survival badge. Requirements include: Discuss ways to avoid panic and maintain a high level of morale when lost, but also, show five different ways to attract attention when lost.