EDINBURG, Texas – Over the weekend, Border Patrol agents thwarted three smuggling cases that led to the rescue of two aliens confined in a vehicle compartment, and the discovery of two human smuggling stash houses.
Saturday evening, the Starr County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Rio Grande City station and requested their assistance at a home they suspected of operating as a stash house. Upon arrival, as agents and officers entered the home, several subjects attempted to flee but were apprehended after a short search. Twenty-five illegal aliens from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were taken into custody.
On Sunday Morning, the Roma Police Department received a report of a human smuggling attempt near Allende Avenue in Roma, Texas. Officers responded to the area, encountered the suspected vehicle and initiated a vehicle stop. The occupants exited the vehicle and ran in an attempt to avoid apprehension. Roma PD requested the assistance of Border Patrol to search for the subjects. Agents and officers apprehended 13 subjects, all illegally present in the United States.
Roma P.D. then returned to Allende Avenue to continue their investigation. Officers approached a nearby residence suspected of being the stash house and discovered an additional 20 foreign nationals, including four unaccompanied juveniles. Border Patrol took custody of all subjects.
That same day, agents working at the Javier Vega Jr. Checkpoint referred a Honda pickup for secondary inspection following a Border Patrol K-9 alert. At secondary, agents conducted an inspection of the vehicle and discovered two hidden subjects in a compartment within the bed of the pickup. At the time of the discovery, the recorded temperature inside the compartment was over 123 degrees, and the smuggled aliens were left without the ability to get out.
Border Patrol processed the cases and subjects accordingly.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector currently has multiple campaigns focused on rescues and danger awareness, such as “Operation Big Rig” and “No Se Arriesgue” to combat smuggling and ultimately save lives. Call 911 to report suspicious activity; “They’re humans, not cargo!”
Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor to the health of the citizens of our great nation. The U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector will continue to safeguard the nation and community against these criminal elements.
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.