LAREDO, TEXAS – In what continues to be a part of a troubling trend, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 35 (I-35) Border Patrol checkpoint north of Laredo halted another sizable human smuggling attempt involving a commercial vehicle.
The incident transpired late during the evening of August 5, when a tractor hauling a trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint and a Service canine alerted to the trailer.
In secondary, a search of the vehicle led agents to discover 53 individuals inside the refrigerated trailer. All of the individuals were illegally present in the United States and from the countries of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The individuals and the driver, a U.S. citizen, were taken into custody pending investigation. The case was turned over to Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation and prosecution. The tractor and trailer were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak said “This latest case is another dangerous example of how smugglers put the lives of migrants at risk to make a profit. Our agents and our law enforcement partners will continue to target this smuggling method and prosecute the criminal organizations that use it.”
Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing summer heat, smugglers continue to endanger the lives of individuals they exploit and the health and safety of our nation. U.S. Border Patrol agents strive to prevent the flow of illegal immigration and slow the spread of COVID-19.
To report suspicious activity such as alien and/or drug smuggling, download the “USBP Laredo Sector” App or contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free at 1-800-343-1994.