Laredo, TX - On Oct. 25, agents assigned to the Hebbronville Station rescued 12 undocumented immigrants. The incident occurred when agents assigned to the Highway 1017 checkpoint encountered a Freightliner hauling a grain hopper trailer. During the course of the inspection, a service canine alerted to possible hidden people or contraband, which was subsequently referred for secondary inspection.
While in secondary, the agents opened the top of the trailer and removed a tarp, that could only be opened by a manual crank, that was covering the grain hopper. Upon opening the tarp, agents discovered 12 subjects, who were sweating profusely, seated on plywood within the grain hopper. With no ventilation and not having the ability to open or exit from the inside, the subjects would have suffocated. Border Patrol Emergency Medical Technicians were immediately dispatched to the location in order to provide medical aid. After all subjects were evaluated, one Mexican subject was in dire need of further medical assistance and was immediately transported by EMT to Doctors Hospital in Laredo. Once at the hospital, the subject was treated for high blood pressure and later released.
The driver of the truck, a 57-year-old male U.S. citizen from Alabama and the 12 subjects were placed under arrest and transported to the Hebbronville Station for processing.
The 12 subjects' nationalities are as follows: 10 Mexican, one Salvadoran, and one Guatemalan. They will be processed accordingly. The case has been turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.
The Laredo Sector currently has 82 EMT-certified agents and seven paramedics. More than 1,312 rescues have been conducted this year alone.
To report suspicious activity such as drug or alien smuggling, contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free telephone number at (800) 343-1994.
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.