31 Arrests from Five Vehicle Pursuits Within 24-Hours

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FILE PHOTO: Migrants from Central America are detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, in Dona Ana County

EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector Border Patrol Agents disrupted five migrant smuggling attempts in collaboration with local law enforcement.

On Jan. 19, a McAllen Border Patrol Station (MCS) agent observed suspected non-citizens load into a silver Ford Escape near Havana, TX and requested assistance from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy attempted to conduct a vehicle stop, but it failed to yield and led the deputy on a vehicle pursuit. The pursuit came to an end when the driver veered off the road and several subjects absconded into nearby brush. A CBP Air and Marine Operations helicopter, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers, and agents responded to the area. Five migrants from Mexico were apprehended. The driver was not located.

Later that morning, DPS engaged in a vehicle pursuit and requested assistance from MCS agents to locate the subjects that fled from the vehicle near Penitas, TX. Agents apprehended 12 migrants from Central America, to include a 16-year-old unaccompanied child. An adult male needed to be transported to a medical facility for lacerations sustained from a barbed wire fence to his hand while he was attempting to elude apprehension. The driver was not located.

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That evening, RGV agents attempted to conduct a vehicle stop on a Ford Fusion near Norias, TX. The vehicle failed to yield and led agents on a vehicle pursuit until it came to a stop in the median of U.S. Highway 77. The driver and approximately six subjects fled from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed three unlawfully present migrants locked in the trunk. The driver and no other subjects were not located.

At approximately the same time, agents and DPS troopers had another vehicle pursuit with a Dodge Avenger on U.S. Highway 281 and approximately seven occupants absconded near Linn, TX. After a search of the area, four subjects to include the driver were apprehended. The driver, a United States Citizen, sustained a cut to his nose from a barbed wire fence and was turned over to the troopers to face charges for evading arrest and human smuggling.

This morning, DPS troopers had a vehicle pursuit with a Dodge Durango in Mission. MCS agents were requested and determined the seven occupants to be noncitizens from Mexico, Venezuela, and Guatemala. Troopers retained custody of the driver, a Mexican national, to face state charges for evading arrest and human smuggling.

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All subjects are being processed accordingly.

Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection.  Follow us on Twitter @CBPRGV and @USBPChiefRGV.

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.