Border Patrol agents come under fire by Mexican gunmen near Roma

U.S. Border Patrol Photo

A routine drug bust took a much more serious turn when a group of Border Patrol agents came under fire by Mexican gunmen in Starr County.

It all happened along the banks of the Rio Grande River just west of Roma on Wednesday.

U.S. Border Patrol agents were patrolling the area in SUVs when they came across a group of drug smugglers.

The smugglers tried to flee the scene and almost hit the Border Patrol agents prompting them to open fire on the suspects.

Gunmen from the Mexican side began to open fire on the Border Patrol agents, who returned fire.

It's not clear how many rounds were fired but the drug smugglers escaped leaving behind more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana worth more than $3 million dollars.

No Border Patrol agents were injured in the firefigh but it's not clear if any of the Mexican gunmen were injured or killed.

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rosendo Hinojosa issued a statement where he noted the incident it took place in a rural area where civilians were not in danger.

Assaults on our agents will not be tolerated, Hinojosa said. Our agents are well-trained and equipped to deal with these types of volatile situations and they will respond with the appropriate force against all threats in order to ensure their safety and the safety of the communities they protect.

Border Patrols agents in nearby Rio Grande City seized another 2,000 pounds of marijuana worth $2.2 million dollars in an underground bunker hidden in a brushy area.

A third seizure south of the rural Starr County community of Garceo yielded nearly 1,400 pounds of marijuana $1.1 million dollars from another drug bunker.