U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Breadcrumb

  1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Local Media Release
  4. Human smuggling attempts involving vacuum tankers intercepted by Laredo Sector Border Patrol

Human smuggling attempts involving vacuum tankers intercepted by Laredo Sector Border Patrol

Release Date

LAREDO, Texas –Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents intercepted two human smuggling attempts involving vacuum tankers at the U.S. Highway 59 immigration checkpoint, west of Freer, Texas.

The first incident happened at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 27, when a vacuum tanker approached the U.S. Highway 59 Border Patrol checkpoint.  The driver was referred to secondary inspection after a service canine alerted to the vehicle during an immigration inspection of the driver.  While searching the tanker, agents found nearly 30 undocumented individuals inside the tank from the countries of Mexico and El Salvador.

Three days later on Nov. 30, a vacuum tanker approached the same checkpoint where a service canine alerted agents to the tank.  After a thorough inspection agents discovered nearly 40 undocumented individuals inside the tank.  The individuals were from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.

people found inside vacuum tankers
People found hiding inside a vacuum tanker.

All of the undocumented individuals along with the drivers, both U.S. citizens, were taken into custody to be processed accordingly. The vacuum tankers were seized by U.S. Border Patrol.

Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and even with low temperatures, human smugglers continue to show little or no regard for the safety of our Nation and for those that they smuggle into the country through dangerous conditions.  It is only through the continued vigilance of U.S. Border Patrol agents that those who might become trapped in cramped space like a vacuum tanker are rescued. Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents will continue to keep our country and communities safe from dangerous criminals and convicted felons as they strive to uphold the agency’s core values of Vigilance, Service, and Integrity.

 If you see something suspicious, report it by contacting our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-343-1994. Together, we can continue to uphold national security and combat illicit activity.

Last Modified: December 9, 2021