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Human Smugglers Use Stolen Vehicle and Water Drainage Systems

Release Date: 
September 29, 2021

EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol (RGV) agents arrested 23 migrants located inside water drainage systems in Brownsville and Hidalgo, and an additional three migrants in two separate smuggling events. One of the vehicles utilized to transport migrants was reported stolen. 

On Sept. 28, Kingsville Border Patrol Station agents observed several suspected migrants entering a white Chevrolet pickup truck near Riviera. Responding agents encountered the vehicle and attempted a vehicle stop, however the driver refused to stop. The driver, in an attempt to evade agents, drove through a fence of a nearby ranch. Agents searched the area and encountered one migrant from Honduras. The vehicle was reported stolen in Houston and turned over to Kleberg County deputies. 

Later that morning, Brownsville Border Patrol Station (BRP) agents encountered shoe prints of three people entering a drainage pipe in Brownsville. The Brownsville Fire Department was requested and responded to assist. Three migrants were apprehended as they exited the drainage system. The migrants stated that all members of their group were accounted for and were in good health.

Agent helps woman exit sewer.
Agent helps woman exit sewer.

On Sept. 29, McAllen Border Patrol Station agents received information that there were suspected migrants traversing the drainage system in Hidalgo. Agents responded to investigate and requested assistance from the Hidalgo Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety. In total, authorities arrested 20 migrants who were found to have used the drainage system to enter the country. 

Also today, BRP agents assigned to the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) unit observed a red Dodge pickup truck load up several suspected migrants near the Rio Grande departing the area. Responding agents, observed the vehicle hastily pull into a residential driveway. The driver fled, leaving the vehicle in gear, which rolled back and struck a parked vehicle. The ATV agents apprehended two female non-citizens from Mexico. Brownsville Police Department was requested and responded to document the incident. 

All subjects were processed accordingly. 

The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and report suspicious activity at 800-863-9382. 

Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection.  Follow us on Twitter @CBPRGV and @USBPChiefRGV.

Last modified: 
September 30, 2021