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Rio Grande Valley agents rescue 18 immigrants trapped in refrigerated trailer

Release Date: 
May 3, 2017

FALFURRIAS, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued 18 people from a locked tractor trailer at the Falfurrias Checkpoint early Wednesday morning.

Immigrants rescued from refrigerator trailer
Immigrants rescued from refrigerator

The rescue occurred when the refrigerated tractor trailer was referred for secondary inspection after a K-9 alert. During inspection, Falfurrias agents discovered the immigrants concealed within produce with the temperature set at 51 degrees. The immigrants had no means of escape from the trailer since it was locked on the outside. Agents had to use bolt cutters to remove the lock as the driver did not have a key.

The driver, a Mexican national, was arrested and referred for prosecution. The immigrants came from various countries to include Mexico, Columbia, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Kosovo and will be processed accordingly.

RGV Sector urges immigrants not to jeopardize their lives by illegally entering the United States or by attempting to circumvent a checkpoint. The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.

Please visit to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection and follow us on Twitter @CBPRGV

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021