LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate Highway (IH) 35, north of Laredo, Texas on Aug. 11 encountered a tractor-trailer at the primary inspection lane. The driver and passenger were questioned regarding their immigration status and referred to secondary after a Border Patrol canine alerted to the presence of concealed humans and/or narcotics. Agents instructed the driver to go to secondary inspection, when it failed to stop and continued north on IH 35. Agents attempted a vehicle stop and the tractor trailer came to a stop near mile maker 30 on IH 35.
Border Patrol agents discovered 78 illegal aliens inside the locked refrigerated trailer. The 78 illegal aliens were found in good health and identified as being from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil, Ecuador, India and Dominican Republic. The driver and passenger, both United States Citizens, were arrested and the tractor-trailer was seized by Border Patrol. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the lead investigative agency in this case.
“These criminal organizations continue to use tractor trailers and view these individuals as mere commodities without regard for their safety. The blatant disregard for human life will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle these organizations and prosecute those responsible,” said Laredo Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens.
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.