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CBP Officers at Roma Arrest Tennessee Woman Attempting to Smuggle Children

Release Date: 
October 2, 2012

Roma, Texas - Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations officers at the Roma Port of Entry arrested a woman from Tennessee who was allegedly attempting to smuggle three Mexican national children into the United States.

On Monday, during the early morning hours, a 2003 Ford Expedition, driven by 32-year-old Mexican national, arrived at the Roma-Miguel Aleman International Bridge. The driver presented her lawful permanent resident card to the CBP officer and presented U.S. birth certificates for each of the five children in the vehicle. She claimed that two of the children were hers and that the other three were nephews and nieces. The vehicle and all its occupants were referred for further inspection and document review. Officers discovered that the three children whom she claimed as nephews and nieces were not related to her but were, in fact, citizens and nationals from Mexico without any legal documents to enter or reside in the United States.

The traveler was incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for violation of U.S. immigration law. CBP was able to contact the biological mother of the three Mexican national children ages, one, eight and 11, who arrived at the port to pick them up; and they all returned back to Mexico. The two U.S. citizen children of the driver, ages 10 and 14, were released to the Child Protective Services.

"Our officers' excellent inspectional techniques and outstanding observational skills have resulted in the detection of this failed alleged smuggling attempt," said Crescencio (Cris) Cantu, Port Director, Roma Port of Entry. "We have kept these children out of possible harm's way and returned them to the mother where they'll be safe."

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.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021