Border Agents Detain Arizona's Ex-Governor, 96

Raul Castro's pacemaker set off sensor
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2012 5:10 PM CDT
Border Agents Detain Arizona's Ex-Governor, 96
In this 2011 file photo, former Arizona Gov. Raul Castro attends inaugural ceremonies for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

(Newser) – Raul Castro—the former governor of Arizona and US ambassador, not the Cuban leader—was detained by US border agents last month, thanks to a rogue pacemaker. En route to Tucson from Mexico, Castro and a family friend were stopped at a checkpoint when his pacemaker set off a radiation detection system, MSNBC reports. As an agent led the former governor into a tent for an investigation, the friend asked if he could stay in the air-conditioned car because of the blazing heat, but it wasn't allowed.

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"I explained that he was a former governor and ambassador ... and that he was 96 years old," she noted. "They knew it was the medical procedure that was coming up on their radar," After questioning and a body scan, the agents asked for some ID. "They just kept humiliating him," the friend said. In a statement, the agency said policy required agents to "identify and resolve all sources of radiation, regardless of the circumstances." For his part, Castro was mostly understanding. "I feel they’ve got a job to do and I don’t condemn them for doing a job," he said—though he added that “once I was identified and I was 96 years of age and told them I had medical treatment the day before, I expected a little more.” (Read more Raul Castro stories.)

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