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Border Patrol Rescues 32 Locked in a Cold Storage Trailer

Release Date: 
August 27, 2016

LAREDO, Texas – On Aug. 24, 2016, at approximately 10:10 p.m., Border Patrol agents from the Laredo Sector Border Patrol discovered and rescued multiple individuals at the Interstate Highway 35 Checkpoint. 

Border Patrol agents assigned to the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35 encountered a cold storage Peterbilt Tractor-trailer at the primary inspection lane. After a service canine alerted to possible narcotics or humans concealed within the vehicle, agents performed an x-ray scan using the Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACIS).

Border Patrol agents observed several people within the trailer, quickly unsealed the doors and found them trapped inside with no apparent means to escape. A total of 32 people from Mexico and Central America were rescued.

“We are fortunate that our Border Patrol agents found these people in time to prevent possible serious injury and a loss of life.  We ask the community to report suspicious activity.  Together we can stop smugglers, who have no regard for human life, from exploiting these persons’ desperate desire to enter the Unites States,” said Chief Patrol Agent Mario Martinez. 

The Laredo Sector Border Patrol will continue to warn against the dangers of people crossing illegally into the United States through our Border Safety Initiative (BSI). BSI is a humanitarian, bi-national strategy designed to reduce migrant deaths educate and inform potential migrants of the dangers and hazards of crossing the border illegally and to respond to those who are in life-threatening situations.

The case has been turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Laredo Office for further investigation.

To report suspicious activity such as drug and/or alien smuggling, contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free telephone number at 1-800-343-1994.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017