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Border Patrol Thwarts Several Human Smuggling Attempts Over the Weekend

Border Patrol agents have apprehended large numbers of individuals during several failed human smuggling attempts in recent days.

The first incident occurred during the mid-evening of December 4, when a tractor-trailer approached the checkpoint west of Freer, Texas. During an immigration inspection of the driver, a service canine alerted to the trailer. At secondary inspection, agents discovered 138 individuals tightly concealed inside the trailer. They were determined to be illegally present in the United States from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. The individuals along with the driver, a U.S. citizen, were taken into custody pending investigation.

The second incident occurred on the evening of December 5, when a tractor-trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint. The driver failed to stop at primary inspection, but ultimately complied with agents’ commands to stop. A subsequent non-intrusive scan of the vehicle revealed anomalies in the trailer. When the trailer was opened, 80 individuals were discovered crammed inside from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. They were placed under arrest pending investigation by Homeland Security Investigation.  U.S. Border Patrol seized the tractor and trailer. 

Also on December 5, Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector Border Patrol agents disrupted a series of human smuggling attempts resulting in the arrest of 29 subjects. A canine agent assigned to the Fort Brown Border Patrol Station initiated a traffic stop on a Dodge Durango near Brownsville, Texas. As the agent activated his lights and sirens, the vehicle came to an immediate halt. Shortly after, agents observed several individuals abscond from the vehicle and run into a nearby neighborhood. Working collectively, agents located and apprehended five individuals.

Later that evening, RGV Sector agents received information that two Alamo, Texas, residences were used to harbor illegal aliens. This information led to the discovery of two active stash houses resulting in the apprehension of 12 subjects who were illegally present in the United States.

And on December 6, RGV Sector agents assisted the Penitas Police Department with a traffic stop in Penitas, Texas. Law enforcement personnel approached the vehicle and, after a brief investigation, determined the passengers were a part of a human smuggling attempt. Six illegal aliens were taken into custody.

Then on December 7, RGV Sector agents observed a F-150 driving erratically along Highway 281. Agents conducted a vehicle stop near San Manuel, Texas, and quickly observed multiple subjects abscond from the vehicle. A search of the immediate area resulted in the apprehension of six subjects, all determined to be illegally present in the United States. The driver was not located.

Elsewhere along the border, a utility truck arrived for an immigration inspection at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint on December 4. Agents identified several inconsistencies with the driver’s story and asked the driver for consent to search the vehicle. During the secondary inspection, agents noticed several discrepancies with the vehicle. Upon further inspection, three individuals were discovered concealed inside the cargo area. In addition, the cargo door was secured by an unlocked padlock, preventing any means to escape in the event of an emergency. All three subjects were found to be illegally present in the United States.

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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