Human Smuggling Attempts Result in 74 Apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley
EDINBURG, Texas – Over the weekend, Rio Grande Valley agents foiled six human smuggling attempts and in the process seized marijuana and a loaded firearm.
Friday afternoon, McAllen agents working near Abram, Texas, received information of a suspicious white Chevrolet pickup traveling south towards the Rio Grande. Recent information received indicated that a vehicle matching the pickup’s description was being utilized to conduct illicit activity in the area. Agents waited for the vehicle to travel back north towards the levee. As the truck arrived to the levee, the driver accelerated, striking an agent’s parked vehicle, and fled. Agents followed the vehicle and discovered the white pickup abandoned with no visible subjects inside. With the help of a nearby Texas Department of Public Safety air asset, agents searched the nearby brush and arrested 13 illegal aliens. The subjects were from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
The following morning, Rio Grande City agents attempted to conduct an immigration inspection of the occupants in a Ford Expedition. As the agents followed the Expedition, the vehicle abruptly stopped and several subjects fled into the nearby neighborhood. Agents and the Rio Grande City Police Department searched the area and located three illegal aliens. Agents identified the three subjects as nationals of Guatemala and Mexico.
That same day, Rio Grande Valley Sector agents working on Highway 281 near San Manuel, Texas, initiated a vehicle stop on a black GMC Acadia. As agents approached the vehicle, agents observed several passengers inside. The driver identified himself as a U.S. citizen. The four passengers admitted to being Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States. Agents arrested the driver and passengers and transported them to the station for processing.
A while later, McAllen agents in Havana, Texas, received information of several suspected illegal aliens running north towards Military Highway. As agents responded to the area, they observed a light colored Ford F-150 travel west from the reported location. Agents tried to catch up to the pickup, but momentarily lost sight of it before discovering it abandoned on a dirt road near the Rio Grande. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered nearly 63 pounds of marijuana worth more than $50K. Agents requested the assistance of a CBP Air and Marine Operations air asset to search for the subjects. After a thorough search of the area, agents arrested the driver and 11 illegal aliens. The illegal aliens are nationals of Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
Additionally, Border Patrol agents working at the checkpoints foiled two to other human smuggling attempts that led to the arrest of the drivers and 43 illegal aliens. Furthermore, in one of those attempts, agents discovered a loaded .45 caliber firearm inside a vehicle.
Border Patrol processed the cases and subjects accordingly.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector currently has multiple campaigns focused on rescues and danger awareness, such as “Operation Big Rig” and “No Se Arriesgue” to combat smuggling and ultimately save lives. Call 911 to report suspicious activity; “They’re humans, not cargo!”
Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor to the health of the citizens of our great nation. The U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector will continue to safeguard the nation and community against these criminal elements.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.