LAREDO, TEXAS – A human smuggling attempt results in vehicle rollover that sent several individuals to a local hospital.
The incident occurred on the night of October 6, when agents observed several suspected undocumented aliens board a sports utility vehicle (SUV) near the 3800 block of South Zapata Highway (US-83). As the agents approached, the driver of the SUV sped away with its headlights off, traveling northbound on US-83 against southbound traffic. Due to the driver’s dangerous action, agents did not pursue. The SUV ultimately turned onto the northbound lane, narrowly avoiding a collision with a Laredo Police Department (LPD) patrol unit. The driver of the SUV lost control of the vehicle causing it to rollover on its side. Border Patrol Emergency Medical Technicians and Laredo Emergency Services arrived on scene and medically assessed all individuals. Five of them, including the U.S. citizen driver, were transported to a local hospital where they were treated and subsequently released to authorities.
Authorities determined that the driver was transporting 12 individuals who were illegally present in the United States from the country of Mexico. With the assistance of investigators from the Webb County Attorney’s Office and LPD, four other U.S. citizens traveling in a separate vehicle were also implicated in the human smuggling event. A search of their vehicle led to the discovery of two stolen handguns.
The U.S. Border Patrol took custody of the 12 undocumented individuals and seized the SUV. Webb County Attorney’s Office investigators took custody of the five U.S. citizens on state charges, recovered the stolen handguns, and seized the second vehicle.
This incident is another example of how smugglers continue to utilize brazen tactics that not only endanger the lives of the people they attempt to exploit, but also the safety and lives of the people of Laredo and our surrounding communities. Agents of the Laredo Sector will continue to collaborate with their law enforcement partners to carry out the U.S. Border Patrol’s mission of protecting the American people, safeguarding our borders, and enhancing the Nation’s economic prosperity.
To report suspicious activity such as alien and/or drug smuggling, download the “USBP Laredo Sector” App or contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free at 1-800-343-1994. If you see something, please say something. You can also follow us on our social media platforms on Twitter and Instagram @usbpchieflrt and @usbpdepchieflrt and on Facebook at US Border Patrol Laredo Sector.