EL PASO, Texas – El Paso Sector Border Patrol Agents in partnership with law-enforcement agencies across the region disrupted numerous human smuggling attempts this week.
One of the most significant events occurred on August 9, 2022, when Santa Teresa Border Patrol Agents were conducting surveillance operations on NM Highway 9 and observed a dark color SUV traveling westbound. This same vehicle was seen approximately 20 minutes later traveling eastbound, but now appeared to be weighed down. Santa Teresa Border Patrol Agents performed a vehicle stop and discovered 11 people crammed inside. The migrants were medically evaluated and processed accordingly. The United States Citizen driver was detained and will be facing charges of human smuggling.
Later that same day, Border Patrol Agents from the same station, the El Paso Sector Integrated Targeting Team, Santa Teresa Anti-Smuggling Unit, Texas Department of Public Safety and El Paso Police Department disrupted a human smuggling scheme with 10 smuggled migrants.
It all started when Border Patrol Agents observed a Maroon Toyota Prius traveling east near Airport Road in Santa Teresa, New Mexico that seemed overloaded with people coming from an area used for human smuggling. El Paso Police Department performed a vehicle stop near Desert Blvd in El Paso, Texas and discovered 10 migrants inside the small economy car. Border Patrol Was notified and migrants from Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, and Honduras were taken to the Santa Teresa Station for processing. The driver, a U.S. citizen, will face State charges for the human smuggling scheme.
On August 10, Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Santa Teresa Station observed several individuals enter the trunk and the passenger seat of a small sedan on NM Highway 9. The agents performed a vehicle stop minutes after and encountered three migrants inside the trunk and another six crammed inside the back seat. The migrants, all from Mexico including an unaccompanied16-year-old minor, were medically evaluated, and processed accordingly. The driver, a citizen from Mexico, was detained on scene.
On August 12, the El Paso Sector ITT, Santa Teresa ASU, and Texas Department of Public Safety disrupted a human smuggling scheme resulting in the discovery of eight migrants crammed inside a black sedan. Agents performed the vehicle stop near Upper Valley Drive and Artcraft Road, discovering the migrants attempting to conceal themselves. The migrants, all from Mexico, were processed and expelled under Title 42, while the driver, a United States citizen will face State charges for smuggling scheme.
El Paso Sector Border Patrol has federally prosecuted 526 cases during the current Fiscal Year 2022.
“Transnational Criminal Organizations continue to recklessly endanger the lives of the human beings they smuggle, inside vehicles, for their own financial gain with no regard for human life.” said El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “Human smuggling in the United States is a federal crime. The El Paso Sector works diligently with our U.S. Attorney partners in the West Texas District and the State of New Mexico to prosecute smugglers that endanger these human lives.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol while remaining anonymous by calling 1-800-635-2509.