HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested an 18-year-old woman from La Villa, Texas after she allegedly attempted to smuggle a four-year-old girl from Guerrero, Mexico.
“Our officers’ outstanding behavioral analysis techniques were key in the detection of this failed child smuggling attempt,” said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “The ability to detect inconsistencies during the brief interactions with the traveling public is how CBP officers are able to thwart smuggling of persons or illicit narcotics.”
On Oct. 11, CBP officers working at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a female Mexican national, Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) at the pedestrian walkway traveling with a young girl, who she claimed was her sister. The young woman presented her LPR card and a U.S. birth certificate for the little girl, claiming that they were headed back home after visiting family in Mexico. A CBP officer referred them to secondary for further inspection and document review and it was there that officers discovered that the two female travelers were not related. Officers determined that the little girl was a citizen of Mexico without any valid documents to legally enter or reside within the United States.
In two separate, unrelated incidents on Oct. 12, CBP officers arrested two females from El Salvador, ages 26 and 49, who were attempting to enter the U.S. utilizing valid Mexican border crossing cards belonging to other people. CBP officers confirmed the identity of the two imposters in secondary after further examination revealed that the women were not the rightful owners of the valid entry/travel documents.
The adult females were incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. federal magistrate on criminal charges for alleged violation of U.S. immigration law. The four-year-old girl was released to her biological mother and both returned back to Mexico.
CBP’s Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.
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.