Alien Smuggling Warrant Yields Arrests of Gang Members and Weapons
EL CENTRO, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector served a search warrant on a house in El Centro that led to the arrests of two smugglers, eight illegal aliens, 3.75 grams of methamphetamine, and a cache of weapons.
An investigation into alien smuggling led Border Patrol agents to a house on the 500 block of Vine Street in El Centro this morning to serve a search warrant. The warrant was served without incident and 10 individuals were taken into custody. Eight of those taken into custody were illegal aliens.
The other two, a 50-year-old man and a 28-year-old man, both United States citizens, were arrested on suspected human smuggling charges. The 28-year-old man is also known to be a local gang member with “La Garra Sur” in Calexico.
A search of the house uncovered a cache of weapons, five rifles and four handguns. Agents also seized 3.75 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, body armor, and $5,325 in U.S. currency.
“This is a sobering reality that illustrates the danger and high stakes that criminal organizations involved in human smuggling pose to law enforcement officers, those they smuggle, and our communities,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “The dedicated agents of El Centro Sector and our partners will root out criminal organizations operating in the Imperial Valley wherever they may be, ensuring that they have no safe haven.”
The two smuggling suspects are in federal custody pending prosecution for violations of federal law. The eight illegal aliens are being held as material witnesses.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.