Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents Encounter Aliens Held Against Their Will, Threatened
LAREDO, Texas – Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents on Tuesday apprehended several subjects who claimed to have been threatened and held against their will prior to entering the United States.
The incident began on February 26 around 10:00 a.m., when the first subject encountered, a male Honduran national, told the apprehending agents that while traveling through Mexico last week, he and several other individuals had been forced off a bus by suspected cartel members and taken to an unknown location. The Honduran subject claimed he and approximately 200 other individuals were held at the location against their will by armed men who were attempting to extort additional money from them to cross into the U.S. illegally. He said he was held for about a week before eventually escaping and crossing the Rio Grande by himself.
Later that same day, agents apprehended an additional 12 illegal aliens near the same approximate area. One of the subjects in that group, an Ecuadoran national, corroborated the story of aliens being held against their will, and said the suspected cartel members had begun moving the other aliens to a different location when they discovered some of them had escaped.
All of the aliens apprehended appeared to be in good health and did not require any medical attention.
“Human smugglers and traffickers view these people as commodities, a money-making opportunity, and nothing more,” said Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez. “They’ll stop at nothing to maximize their profit, casually putting the lives of these individuals at risk, with no regard for their well-being. And while the U.S. Border Patrol will continue warning people about the dangers of crossing the border illegally, we will also do everything in our power to find these criminal smugglers and bring them to justice.”
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.
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.