LAREDO, TEXAS – Over the course of a busy 24 hours, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended a huge number of individuals inside a tractor trailer at the Interstate 35 (I-35) Border Patrol checkpoint and at a stash house in south Laredo. One of the individuals apprehended inside the tractor-trailer was discovered to have been previously convicted for murder.
The first incident occurred during the early afternoon of July 21, when a tractor-trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint and a Service canine alerted agents to the trailer. At secondary, agents discovered 58 individuals inside the trailer, all illegally present in the United States from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The individuals and the driver, a U.S. Citizen, were turned over to Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation. The tractor and trailer were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
During the investigation, a Mexican national was determined to have a previous conviction on the charge of murder, out of Houston, Texas. His conviction carried a sentence of 10 years confinement. He was criminally charged for his immigration violations and remains in U.S. Border Patrol custody pending prosecution.
During the mid-evening of the same day, Laredo Sector agents, HSI special agents, and the Laredo Police Department (LPD) conducted surveillance at a suspected stash house on the 2700 block of Mier Street. A green SUV was observed leaving the house with several individuals inside. LPD conducted a traffic stop and discovered that it was occupied by five individuals who were illegally present in the U.S. The driver and his four passengers were taken into custody.
Agents, along with HSI and LPD, apprehended 46 individuals, including one juvenile, at the residence. The individuals were in the country illegally from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. All were taken into custody pending investigation.
Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, smugglers continue to endanger the lives of individuals they exploit. Their lack of concern regarding who they bring into the country poses a great risk to the health and safety of our nation. U.S. Border Patrol agents strive to prevent the flow of illegal immigration, slow the spread of COVID-19, and guard against criminal elements entering our communities.
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.
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.