LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate Highway 35 (I-35) checkpoint discover undocumented individuals inside a commercial trailer during a human smuggling attempt, north of Laredo, Texas.
The incident occurred on April 16, when a commercial tractor-trailer approached the checkpoint. Through a non-intrusive scan of the trailer, agents observed multiple anomalies inside the trailer. Agents opened the sealed cargo area of the tractor trailer and discovered a total of 149 undocumented individuals locked inside. None of the individuals were wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). They were all medically screened and provided PPE.
The undocumented individuals were determined to be in the United States illegally from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador, Peru, and Ecuador. They were all placed under arrest along with the driver, a U.S. citizen, pending further investigation by Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations. The U.S. Border Patrol seized both the tractor and trailer.
Human smugglers continue to have no regard for the safety and health of the people they exploit for profit. With a noted increase in COVID-19 infections among detainees, the transporting of large groups of people without PPE in close dangerous quarters endangers the individuals and safety of our Nation.
Take a stand against these criminal organizations and other potentially dangerous acts by reporting suspicious activity. To report suspicious activity such as human and/or drug smuggling, download the “USBP Laredo Sector” App or contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free at 1-800-343-1994.
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