EAGLE PASS, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Joint Targeting Team – South in Eagle Pass uncovered a stash house where 11 undocumented immigrants were found and arrested.
“Human smuggling is a profitable enterprise for the cartels,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “Border Patrol agents and law enforcement partners in Joint Targeting Teams search out such offenders. Our agency will continue to utilize a wide array of enforcement components to combat these trans-national criminal organizations at every level.”
On Feb. 7, Border Patrol agents, assisted by officers from Maverick County Sheriff’s Office, located a house near the downtown region of Eagle Pass that was suspected of being used to temporarily harbor smuggled immigrants. As law enforcement officials approached, a man was seen fleeing on foot. The individual was apprehended after a short chase and 10 other subjects were found within the residence. Evidence indicated that the people inside had recently crossed the Rio Grande River. The 11 individuals were arrested and then transported to the Eagle Pass South Border Patrol Station for processing.
In total, eight men from Mexico, one woman from Honduras, and one man and woman from El Salvador were apprehended. The individuals, some of whom had already been removed from the country previously, will be charged with being illegally present in the United States and face deportation.
Human stash houses are commonly utilized by criminal organizations to store smuggled immigrants in often sub-human conditions. Individuals must typically await transport to interior destinations of the United States and pay fees to smugglers. It is not uncommon for these undocumented immigrants to be held for weeks or more in small, cramped structures without adequate ventilation, running water, or sanitation. Organizers of stash houses have also been known to engage in kidnapping, robbery, and physical and sexual abuse of immigrants.
The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity call the Del Rio Sector’s toll free number at 1-866-511-8727.