Smugglers Continue to Place Human Lives at Risk

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4 mins read
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection patch is seen on the arm of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Mission

EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol (RGV) agents disrupted six migrant smuggling attempts resulting in 125 arrests. Agents rescued 86 migrants from a trailer and two more from a vehicle’s trunk.  

On March 24, a Harlingen Border Patrol Station agent observed a GMC Yukon that appeared to be heavily loaded pass his location near Mercedes. The agent attempted to catch up to the vehicle. As the agent neared the Yukon, the driver abruptly stopped the vehicle and fled, along with the other occupants into the brush. Agents apprehended 12 migrants from Mexico and one from Columbia after searching the area. The migrants were determined to be unlawfully present in the U.S. and were placed under arrest. The driver was not located.

On March 26, a McAllen Border Patrol Station agent observed a Dodge truck pick up two suspected migrants near Granjeno, TX. Agents conducted a vehicle stop on the vehicle and determined the driver and two passengers were nationals of Mexico unlawfully present in the U.S. and were placed under arrest.

Just after midnight on March 27, Sullivan City Police Department (SCPD) requested assistance from MCS agents regarding a bail out near Tom Gill Road and Mile 7. The driver of a Ford Fusion failed to yield and led SCPD officers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers on a vehicle pursuit. The driver was apprehended prior to agents arriving. Agents searched the immediate area and assisted in the apprehension of seven more migrants.

About the same time, agents working at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint referred a tractor trailer to the secondary inspection area following a K-9 alert. Upon entering the sealed trailer, agents encountered 86 migrants amongst pallets of rotten produce. The migrants were nationals of Central America and Mexico. The group included an unaccompanied 16-year-old minor and an eight-year-old accompanied by her mother.

Just after sunrise, RGV agents working near Linn, attempted to catch up to a blue Ford F150 when the vehicle veered off the road and drove through a ranch fence. All the occupants bailed out of the vehicle and into the nearby brush. A CBP Air and Marine helicopter responded to assist agents search the surrounding area. Agents apprehended nine unlawfully present migrants. The driver was not located.

Later that evening, Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station agents responded to several subjects loading into a vehicle near the Rio Grande in Roma. Responding agents located the load vehicle abandoned with a flat tire and the engine running. As agents searched the vehicle, they discovered two migrants locked in the trunk. They were placed under arrest along with four others that had fled into the brush. All migrants were offered medical treatment, however they declined. The driver was not located.

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.


 ~CBP~