EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector successfully apprehended 18 people concealed in vehicle compartments in two separate events, arrested a gang member and a convicted sex offender in multiple incidents over the weekend.
On Sunday at approximately 10 p.m., a tractor-trailer entered the primary inspection lane at the Falfurrias Checkpoint. During the immigration inspection, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the trailer. Agents opened the trailer and discovered 16 people illegally present in the U.S. All were offered medical attention but declined. Record checks revealed that the driver is a suspected Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member.
Two additional individuals were discovered earlier that day at approximately 1:30 p.m., when agents assigned to the Kingsville Checkpoint arrested three adult female U.S. citizens attempting to smuggle two individuals in a Dodge Caravan. Agents referred the vehicle to the secondary inspection area and discovered the subjects hidden in the cargo compartment below the floor with no means of escape. The individuals were offered medical attention but declined. Both cases were referred to the Rio Grande Valley Sector Prosecutions Office.
In a separate incident on Saturday at approximately 2:30 a.m., Weslaco Station agents apprehended a Salvadoran man near Hidalgo. During processing, records checks revealed the man is an 18th Street gang member. Later that morning, McAllen agents apprehended a Guatemalan man near Abram. During processing, agents discovered that the man was arrested on January 2014, by the Hamilton Township Police Department in Hamilton, N.J., and charged with sexual assault.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector is part of the South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity, call the sector’s toll-free telephone number at 800-863-9382.
Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.