LAREDO, TEXAS – U.S. Border Patrol agents intercepted two separate human smuggling attempts within 24-hours of each other at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 35 (I-35) north of Laredo.
The first incident occurred late in the afternoon of June 6, when a red tractor hauling a white trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint. During an immigration inspection of the driver, a Service canine alerted. Agents opened the locked trailer and discovered 17 individuals inside, all illegally present in the United States from the countries of Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Honduras. The individuals and the driver, a U.S. citizen, were taken into custody pending further investigation. The tractor was turned over to the Webb County Sheriff’s Office as it had been reported as stolen.
The second incident occurred during the mid-morning of June 7, when agents at the I-35 checkpoint encountered a second red tractor hauling a white trailer. During a non-intrusive scan of the vehicle, agents observed several individuals in the trailer. The driver attempted to exit the checkpoint, but agents performed a vehicle stop. Agents discovered 16 individuals inside the refrigerated trailer. The individuals were all from the country of Mexico, and found to be illegally present in the United States. Agents arrested the driver and passenger, both United States citizens, and the individuals pending further investigation. The tractor and trailer were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.