US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Another Dangerous Tactic Involving Human Smuggling Stopped by Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents

Release Date: 
August 25, 2021

LAREDO, Texas – In two separate events over two days, Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Hebbronville Station rescued undocumented individuals who used railcars in an attempt to further their dangerous journey into the United States.  In one of the incidents, the undocumented individuals were found to be covered in powdered clay.

The first incident occurred during the afternoon of August 24, when agents conducting train inspections near Bruni, Texas discovered 19 undocumented individuals in a car hauler railcar.  The individuals were found to be in the United States illegally from the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.

The next day during the mid-morning, agents conducting train inspections near Hebbronville, Texas apprehended 15 undocumented individuals from the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.  The individuals were covered in a white powdery substance.  Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Hebbronville Fire Department helped identify the substance as being clay and assisted with the decontamination of the individuals.

During the same inspection, an additional 34 individuals were found hiding inside several vehicles that were being transported in a railcar.  The individuals were provided first aid and fortunately no injuries were reported.

clay powder
Agents conducting train inspections near Bruni, Texas
discovered 19 undocumented individuals in a car hauler railcar

This dangerous method of traveling further into the United States after illegal entry is strongly discouraged as it often results in serious injury or death.  Many times, migrants choose this grueling method of transportation without realizing the consequences of their actions until it is too late.  Fortunately, in these cases, agents detected the individuals and were able to rescue them before any fell victim to a heat related injury or from dangerous substances.

For anyone who is thinking of entering the United States illegally, the message in simple: Don’t do it!  Help take a stand against criminal organizations who exploit undocumented individuals by reporting suspicious activity.  To report suspicious activity such as human and/or drug smuggling, contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free at 1-800-343-1994.

Last modified: 
August 30, 2021