LAREDO, Texas – On December 10, 2015 at approximately 12:30p.m., Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a male subject attempting to smuggle illegal immigrants while using a cloned Border Patrol Tahoe.
A Border Patrol agent working operations, noticed a suspicious looking government vehicle. He continued to follow the vehicle northbound while coordinating with agents assigned to the Cotulla Border Patrol Station. Agents then performed a vehicle stop near the 65 mile-marker on Interstate Highway 35. Upon approaching the cloned Tahoe, they noticed there were numerous subjects inside the vehicle. A total of 12 illegal immigrants were found crammed inside the vehicle. At that time the driver was placed under arrest.
To a casual observer, the cloned vehicle appeared to be a law enforcement vehicle conducting official business, but to the observant Border Patrol agent something was not quite right. After further investigation, the agents determined that the four-door vehicle had been cloned to look like an official Border Patrol vehicle in an attempt to conceal a human smuggling attempt.
“As we continue to monitor security along the border and in adjacent communities, smugglers have resorted to desperate measures to conduct their illicit business. The training, attention to detail and vigilance of our Border Patrol agents halted this human smuggling attempt. We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe,” said Mario Martinez, Chief of the Laredo Sector Border Patrol.
The incident is still evolving and currently under investigation.
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.