Border officials detain 14 Mexican soldiers who crossed into U.S.

U.S. Border Patrol agents detained a group of 14 Mexican soldiers who crossed into Texas early Saturday morning, according to Customs and Border Protection.

“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.,” CBP said in a statement to Reuters.

The bridge is also called “Puente Internacional Córdova de las Américas” and “Puente Libre” (free bridge in English, as no toll charge is assessed for those wishing to cross it).

“The soldiers, weapons and equipment were secured for safety and processing,” CBP said, as NBC News reported.

Mexican military officials were soon contacted and arrived on the scene.

After about five hours, the soldiers, as well as their military equipment and vehicles, were released, CBP said.

However, one of the soldiers was hit with a citation for possession of marijuana, according to the agency.

The soldier “was assessed a civil penalty after CBP officers discovered a personal use amount of marijuana in his possession,” CBP said, according to The Associated Press.

A witness to the incident told Reuters that the border was closed for roughly two hours as a result of what transpired.

“The CBP (agents) yelled at the soldiers to put their hands up and drop their weapons immediately,” the unnamed witness said.

According to Reuters, border agents searched the Mexican soldiers’ vehicles and handcuffed the soldiers themselves.

The El Paso Times reported that similar incidents have occurred in the past.

“The Mexican military has patrols and a security presence in Juárez, including at the border crossings,” the outlet added.