SUNLAND PARK, N.M. – Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Border Patrol Agents in Santa Teresa recently prevented numerous human smuggling attempts.
Since March 2020, Santa Teresa agents have foiled six separate smuggling attempts near the Mount Cristo Rey area in Sunland Park, New Mexico. Transnational Criminal Organizations intended to smuggle foreign nationals from countries including Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.
Smuggling schemes resulted in agents arresting nine drivers/accomplices and 28 passengers illegally in the United States.
The inherent dangers associated with these criminal smuggling attempts place their illicit human cargo, members of the public, and law enforcement at great risk.
“I can’t stress enough how dangerous these human smuggling tactics can be,” stated El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “We will continue to work with other law enforcement and investigative agencies to target those that place these human lives at risk”.
It is important to note that an arrest or criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered evidence of guilt. Subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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.