US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents rescue 11 people from callous smugglers; drug smuggler recklessly flees from law enforcement

Release Date: 
January 26, 2016

EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued 11 illegal immigrants over the past weekend, whose lives were placed in danger due to the dangerous tactics used by human smugglers.

The rescues occurred in multiple incidents at the Falfurrias and Sarita checkpoints. The most significant incident occurred Saturday, when two United States citizens approached the Falfurrias Checkpoint in a tractor-trailer and upon further inspection, agents found six illegal immigrants inside the locked trailer.

In three other incidents, agents rescued five illegal immigrants from the trunks of vehicles after Border Patrol K-9s alerted at primary inspection.

So far for fiscal year 2016, which began Oct. 1, agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector have rescued more than 200 illegal immigrants whose lives were in danger due to a variety of circumstances.

Additionally, in an unrelated incident in Fronton on Saturday, a drug smuggler recklessly attempted to avoid arrest by driving at a high rate of speed toward the Rio Grande.

The incident occurred when agents attempted to stop a marijuana-laden vehicle traveling north away from the river. When the smuggler spotted the agents, he made an abrupt U-turn and sped back south. However, the vehicle suffered a mechanical failure and came to a stop, at which time two smugglers abandoned it and fled on foot. Both were apprehended after a brief foot pursuit. Agents seized more than 365 pounds of marijuana.

Human smugglers are callous individuals, who prey upon the desperation of immigrants. They have no regard for human life and treat immigrants as commodities. These unscrupulous individuals use tactics that place the lives of immigrants and the general public in extreme danger. RGV Sector urges immigrants to not jeopardize their lives by illegally entering the United States or by attempting to circumvent a checkpoint.

The public is encouraged to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017