US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Lives in Jeopardy During Rescue Event

Release Date: 
June 15, 2021
VAN HORN, Texas
For More Information: 
Greg L. Davis, Big Bend Sector Public Affairs Officer, 202-839-1817, Gregory.L.Davis@cbp.dhs.gov

 

Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents were alerted to a human smuggling scheme where 33 undocumented migrants were locked inside a box-truck during the late evening. Intervention by Border Patrol agents allowed the people who were suffering from heat related illnesses to be freed in a rescue event with 12 people transported to regional hospitals.  

Dangerous temps in U-Haul
U-Haul van with undocumented non-citizens being 
smuggled into the United States of America.

Around 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, 2021, agents were alerted to suspicious activity related to a possible human-smuggling scheme near the McDonalds restaurant here. Agents approached two vehicles, a Dodge Journey and a U-Haul box-truck. Upon opening of the cargo space there were 33 people who were close to perishing due to excessive heat and lack of fresh air in temperatures still hovering near 100 degrees. Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group have trained emergency medical technicians embedded in the unit and were part of the response. Upon discovery of the precarious situation SOG members immediately began triage operations to determine who needed transport to regional hospitals and who could be treated on-scene. Over the next few hours 12 patients were transported to regional hospitals while many more were evaluated and treated for symptoms of dehydration on-scene. There were no casualties.

 

“Had our heroic agents not been able to free these trapped undocumented migrants, we could have seen 33 miserable deaths in this event,” said Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin. “Smugglers do not care what type of misery they put people through as they take their money.” 

All individuals recovered from their heat-related injuries and were processed according to Big Bend Sector protocols. Homeland Security Investigations accepted the case for prosecution.

Big Bend Sector partners with many local and state law enforcement entities to keep our border communities safe. If you see something suspicious, report it by contacting our 24/7 hotline at

1-866-581-7549. Together, we can continue to uphold national security and combat illicit activity.

Honor First!

Last modified: 
July 16, 2021