LAREDO, TEXAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo Port of Entry intercepted three U.S. citizens who allegedly attempted to smuggle undocumented persons in two separate incidents at the international bridges.
“Securing our borders while facilitating travel is a challenge our frontline officers face every day,” said Acting Port Director Joseph Misenhelter, Laredo Port of Entry. “I commend them for their hard work and diligence which led to the arrest of these individuals.”
The first incident occurred at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge on Tuesday, Oct. 21 when a 40-year-old female U.S. citizen from Fort Worth, Texas applied for admission into the U.S. as a passenger in a commercial bus accompanied by a 13-year-old minor who she allegedly claimed was her friend’s daughter. Upon inspection by CBP officers, the woman presented, on behalf of the child, a City of Austin birth certificate to substantiate her claim of the child’s U.S. citizenship. After further review, CBP officers determined that the child was a Mexican national with no valid entry documents.
The second interception happened on the same day at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge when two women, ages 28, and 36, both U.S. citizens from San Antonio, Texas applied for admission in a 1999 Ford Expedition. CBP officers referred the vehicle for secondary inspection, where CBP officers discovered an undocumented Mexican citizen female hidden within the vehicle under a blanket.
CBP officers arrested all three women in the aforementioned incidents for violations of immigration law. The undocumented persons in both cases were processed for removal proceedings and returned to Mexico.
CBP’s Laredo Port of Entry is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.
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.