TEXAS, USA — United States Border Patrol agents intercepted a significant human smuggling attempt at the Border Patrol checkpoint on U.S. Highway 83, just northwest of Laredo.
According to agents, the incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, August 5, when a box truck approached the Laredo checkpoint.
During an immigration inspection of the driver, a Service K-9 alerted agents to the vehicle.
"A subsequent search of the cargo area led agents to discover 27 individuals concealed inside, all illegally present in the United States from the country of Mexico. The individuals, along with the driver, a U.S. citizen, were arrested pending further investigation by Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations. The U.S. Border Patrol seized the vehicle," stated Border Patrol officials.
In addition, Rio Grande Valley agents working near San Manuel, Texas, on Tuesday night observed a suspicious, black Chevrolet Impala traveling north on Highway 281.
Agents say they attempted to initiate a stop, but the driver failed to yield to the agent’s emergency lights, and a pursuit ensued.
"The pursuit came to an end after the driver abruptly pulled over on the side of the highway and then fled into the brush nearby. Inside the vehicle, agents discovered five illegal aliens, three which were found inside the trunk. Agents searched the brush and located the United States citizen driver," stated Border Patrol agents.
Then on Wednesday morning, Falfurrias agents working at the checkpoint there sent over a gray Ford Taurus to the secondary inspection area following a K-9 alert.
"At secondary, agents inspected the vehicle and discovered a Mexican national concealed under bags of clothing hidden inside the trunk. Agents arrested the subjects and escorted them to the station for processing. Additionally, during the vehicle inspection, agents discovered a small quantity of methamphetamine and Xanax pills. Border Patrol turned the case over to the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office," reported agents.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Rio Grande Valley Sector currently has multiple campaigns focused on rescues and danger awareness, such as “Operation Big Rig” and “No Se Arriesgue” to combat smuggling and ultimately save lives.
Border Patrol Agents say to call 911 to report suspicious activity. “They’re humans, not cargo!”
"Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing summer heat, smugglers continue to endanger the lives of individuals they exploit and the health and safety of our nation. U.S. Border Patrol agents strive to prevent the flow of illegal immigration and slow the spread of COVID-19," stated officials.
To report suspicious activity such as alien and/or drug smuggling, download the “USBP Laredo Sector” App or contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol or call them toll-free at 1-800-343-1994.
Follow the Rio Grande Valley Sector on Twitter @CBPRGV, @USBPChiefRGV, and @USBPDepChiefRGV. The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and report suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.
"Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these bold attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor to the health of the citizens of our great nation," added Border Patrol agents.
"The U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector will continue to safeguard the nation and community against these criminal elements."
Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection.