United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed the incident in a statement to Reuters. The agency indicated the Army men said they did not realize they had entered the United States.
“Just after midnight today CBP officers working at the Bridge of the America’s international crossing in El Paso noted two Mexican military vehicles crossing the boundary and entering the U.S.,” the statement read, according to Reuters.
The soldiers crossed from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, into El Paso early on Saturday and were taken into custody by CBP and returned by 5:00 a.m. the same morning. The soldier with the marijuana was given a civil penalty.
CBP confiscated the men’s weapons and higher-ups in the Mexican military arrived quickly at the port after being contacted by the American government to retrieve their servicemembers, vehicles, and equipment.
A witness reportedly heard CBP ordering the men to drop their weapons when they were detained. Videos show the soldiers being escorted in handcuffs, presumably by American border guards.
The incident is reminiscent of one that occured in 2019 in which Mexican soldiers erroneously confronted two United States soldiers, who were in CBP vehicles on the American side of the border, according to the Associated Press.
Part of the confusion in the 2019 incident could be attributed to the fact that the American soldiers were south of the border wall but still north of the border.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan. He has coached high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.