Arizona 360 explored an area of the southwestern border where increased manpower and infrastructure over the last 15 years has led to a significant drop in drug and human smuggling.
Lorraine Rivera got a bird's-eye view of Custom and Border Protection's Yuma Sector aboard a U.S. Customs Air and Marine helicopter. Agents patrol a variety of terrains that include sand dunes, rugged mountains and the Colorado River.
In 2005, agents apprehended more than 138,000 people and intercepted nearly 3,000 vehicles carrying contraband. A year later, the Secure Fence Act added 63 miles of fencing and 43 miles of vehicle barriers to the sector. By 2017, apprehensions dipped to nearly 13,000 and vehicle incursions decreased to 10. In that same time frame, the number of agents on duty went from 300 to more than 800.