HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested a woman from Houston, Texas in connection with a failed smuggling attempt of five persons from Mexico.
“Our officers’ outstanding ability to detect inconsistencies and their exceptional observational techniques resulted in the detection of this foiled smuggling attempt of people allegedly attempting to enter the U.S. illegally,” said Acting Port Director Javier Cantu, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “CBP takes the smuggling of persons very seriously and will seek the fullest punishment allowed by law.”
The incident occurred on June 27 at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge after CBP officers referred a grey 2000 Chevrolet Suburban driven by a 40-year-old female U.S. citizen from Houston for a secondary inspection. Three adults; specifically two females and a male presented U.S. birth certificates for themselves and for an eight-year-old female along with a two-year-old boy. The adult female driver claimed everyone as her children and grandchildren although further inspection revealed that none of the travelers were related. CBP OFO determined that the documents presented were legitimate U.S. birth certificates but they did not belong to the people presenting them to enter the country. The three adults, ages 19, 22 and 25 along with the two minors did not possess valid documents to legally enter or reside in the United States, therefore were in violation of U.S. immigration law.
The female U.S. citizen driver was detained pending an appearance before a U.S. federal magistrate for alleged violation of U.S. immigration law. CBP seized the vehicle and returned the three adults and two minors to Mexico.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.