Border Patrol Stops a Dangerous Human Smuggling Attempt
LAREDO, TEXAS – Despite warnings to individuals about the dangers, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 35 (I-35) Border Patrol checkpoint north of Laredo stopped another dangerous human smuggling attempt involving a commercial vehicle.
The incident transpired during the early morning of August 7, when a tractor-trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint. During an immigration inspection of the driver, a Service canine alerted to the trailer.
In secondary, a search of the vehicle led agents to discover 63 individuals inside the unrefrigerated trailer. All of the individuals, which included four juveniles, were illegally present in the United States and from the countries of Mexico and Guatemala. 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 (HSI).
Later that same day, Laredo Sector agents, with the assistance of Special Agents from HSI, Webb County Constables (WCC) Precinct 2, and the Laredo Police Department (LPD), disrupted two separate stash houses in Laredo that were harboring individuals illegally in the United States.
The first incident began during the late morning hours when authorities were alerted to possible suspicious activity regarding a residence in south Laredo. WCC deputies stopped a vehicle that had left the location, and the driver was subsequently determined to be a Mexican national illegally in the United States. Investigation led agents and officers to search the residence where a total of 45 individuals were discovered who were illegally present in the United States from the countries of Mexico and Guatemala. They were all placed under arrest.
Then second incident occurred in the mid-afternoon hours, when another report of suspicious activity was received regarding a residence at the 3500 block of Paradise Drive. Laredo Sector agents, HSI, WCC deputies, and LPD officers conducted a consensual search at the residence which led to the discovery of one U.S. citizen and six Mexican nationals illegally in the United States. All were in good health and were placed under arrest. Investigation into both stash houses was turned over to HSI Special Agents.
Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak stated, “The identification of these stash houses and these arrests came as a result of the collaborative investigative work by Border Patrol agents and our partner agencies as we continue to target organizations involved in human smuggling using tractor-trailers. We will continue to target smugglers that put lives at risk using these dangerous smuggling methods, especially in light of the added threat of COVID-19.”
Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents strive to uphold the agency’s Core Values of Vigilance, Service, and Integrity.
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 and follow us on our social media platforms on Twitter and Instagram @usbpchieflrt and @usbpdepchieflrt and on Facebook at US Border Patrol Laredo Sector.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.