- Associated Press - Monday, May 5, 2014

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) - Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection say three helium-filled surveillance balloons that were deployed late last year along the Texas-Mexico border have been effective in deterring and spotting illegal activity.

The blimp-shaped balloons, also called aerostats, were originally used by the Department of Defense in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Authorities announced Monday the surveillance balloons have also helped Border Patrol agents save immigrant lives in remote and inhospitable areas. They were first deployed along the Texas-Mexico border in South Texas in November.

The agency says it plans on deploying two more balloons in June.

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