Human smuggling attempts involving vacuum tankers intercepted by Laredo Sector Border Patrol

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LAREDO, Texas –Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents intercepted two human smuggling attempts involving vacuum tankers at the U.S. Highway 59 immigration checkpoint, west of Freer, Texas.

The first incident happened at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 27, when a vacuum tanker approached the U.S. Highway 59 Border Patrol checkpoint.  The driver was referred to secondary inspection after a service canine alerted to the vehicle during an immigration inspection of the driver.  While searching the tanker, agents found nearly 30 undocumented individuals inside the tank from the countries of Mexico and El Salvador.

Three days later on Nov. 30, a vacuum tanker approached the same checkpoint where a service canine alerted agents to the tank.  After a thorough inspection agents discovered nearly 40 undocumented individuals inside the tank.  The individuals were from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.

All of the undocumented individuals along with the drivers, both U.S. citizens, were taken into custody to be processed accordingly. The vacuum tankers were seized by U.S. Border Patrol.people found inside vacumm tankers

Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and even with low temperatures, human smugglers continue to show little or no regard for the safety of our Nation and for those that they smuggle into the country through dangerous conditions.  It is only through the continued vigilance of U.S. Border Patrol agents that those who might become trapped in cramped space like a vacuum tanker are rescued. Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents will continue to keep our country and communities safe from dangerous criminals and convicted felons as they strive to uphold the agency’s core values of Vigilance, Service, and Integrity.

 If you see something suspicious, report it by contacting our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-343-1994. Together, we can continue to uphold national security and combat illicit activity.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.