SOUTH TEXAS– During the months of January and February 2018, Border Patrol agents throughout the South Texas Corridor disrupted 30 tractor-trailer human smuggling cases resulting in the rescue of 448 illegal aliens. Border Patrol agents discovered the illegal aliens locked in the back of trailers or concealed within the commodity of the trailers, which included furniture and produce. The United States Border Patrol in South Texas has taken a proactive approach in mitigating this smuggling trend through the implementation of the Texas Hold’Em Initiative and recently initiating Operation Big Rig.
The Texas Hold’em Initiative is a joint multi-agency enforcement effort between the Texas Department of Public Safety and the United States Border Patrol to improve border security by implementing consequences on commercial drivers convicted of human and/or narcotic smuggling. Penalties associated with this type of criminal act include the revocation of Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and/or a jail sentence.
Operation Big Rig is a call to action by everyone, the media, the community, neighbors, family, friends, and law enforcement to call 911 if they see or are aware of smuggling or suspicious activity of any kind. Do not wait until it is too late.
The most recent tractor-trailer human smuggling case occurred on February 27, 2018 in Laredo, Texas, after agents at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on north Highway 83 encountered a tractor-trailer at the primary lane and discovered 32 illegal aliens inside the trailer. The driver, a Mexican National, was arrested and Border Patrol agents seized the tractor-trailer.
The Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and Del Rio Border Patrol Sectors are part of the South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state, and local agencies as well as industry professionals to combat transnational criminal organizations.
Department of Homeland Security components are actively targeting transnational criminal organizations and their networks throughout the U.S. in a concerted unity of effort coordinated by Joint Task Force–West.