MIDLAND, Texas – Six undocumented immigrants and approximately 239 pounds of marijuana were intercepted by Midland Border Patrol agents after they stopped two vehicles on I-20 after midnight last Thursday.
The agents were on patrol when they noticed two suspicious vehicles traveling east on I-20, toward Ector County. One of the vehicles was a sedan and the other an SUV. As the agents pulled alongside the vehicles, they were able to see what appeared to be marijuana bundles in the back of the SUV, in addition to a large number of occupants.
Agents initiated a traffic stop on both vehicles. The car yielded immediately and came to a stop. The SUV continued on for a short distance then rolled into the grass on the shoulder of the highway. As it slowed, the passenger doors began to open and several subjects bailed out, attempting to run away as the vehicle moved forward. Agents secured the vehicle and gave chase on foot, apprehending all six of the individuals who bailed out of the SUV.
The subjects who were apprehended from the SUV were Mexican Nationals, and in the U.S. illegally. The bundles that were seen in the SUV turned out to be five large backpacks that contained 239.5 pounds of marijuana.
A total of three individuals were found inside the car, including two females. All were suspected to be involved in the smuggling attempt. One of the females is a Mexican National legally in the country on a visitor’s visa. The other male and female were United States citizens from Odessa, Texas.
The marijuana, vehicles and all subjects were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.
“The Big Bend Sector relies on its stations in Midland, Fort Stockton, Lubbock and Amarillo to respond to calls for assistance from other agencies as well as to patrol the routes smugglers take as they leave the US/Mexico border. This case is a great example of experienced agents disrupting organized smugglers who were attempting to bring narcotics into one of our major cities within the Big Bend Sector’s area of responsibility,” said Acting Chief Patrol Agent, Victor M. Velazquez.
Big Bend Sector agents patrol 510 miles of the southwest border which extends from Sierra Blanca, Texas to Sanderson. It is the largest Border Patrol Sector on the U.S-Mexico border.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.