Despite the dangers, agents assigned to the Interstate Highway 35 (I-35) checkpoint north of Laredo continue to apprehend large numbers of individuals found in commercial vehicles in attempts to smuggle them into the United States.
The latest incident occurred during the late afternoon of October 7, when a tractor-trailer approached the checkpoint. During an immigration inspection of the driver, a service canine alerted to the trailer. Agents referred the vehicle to secondary inspection, where they discovered 100 individuals concealed inside the refrigerated trailer with an interior temperature of approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
All of the individuals were medically screened and evaluated, but none required further medical attention. They were determined to be illegally present in the United States from the countries of Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. None were wearing Personal Protective Equipment. The individuals along with the driver, a U.S. citizen with an extensive criminal history, were taken into custody pending investigation by Homeland Security Investigations.
Both the tractor and trailer were reported as being stolen and were recovered by the Webb County Sheriff’s Office.