LAREDO, Texas — May 14 was a busy day for agents of the U.S. Border Patrol near the Laredo, Texas, crossing between the U.S. and Mexico. In three separate incidents, agents discovered a total of 62 people in three failed human-smuggling attempts.
The first incident occurred in the early afternoon, when a tractor-trailer approached the Interstate 35 checkpoint. After an immigration inspection of the driver, a nonintrusive scan of the tractor-trailer revealed several people being transported in the trailer. Upon opening the trailer, agents discovered 48 people from Mexico, including two juveniles, who were determined to be in the U.S. illegally. All 48 people and the driver, a U.S. citizen, were arrested pending further investigation. The tractor and trailer were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
The second incident occurred about an hour later, when agents working the U.S. 83 checkpoint encountered a second tractor-trailer. During the immigration inspection of the driver, a service canine brought agents’ attention to the tractor area of the rig. An inspection of the tractor led to the discovery of 10 people inside. The individuals, from the countries of Mexico and Ecuador, were determined to be illegally present in the U.S. The 10 people and the driver, a U.S. citizen, were placed under arrest pending further investigation. The tractor-trailer was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
The final incident occurred later in the evening. Agents working south of U.S. 59 performed a roving patrol stop on a black pickup. During an immigration inspection, it was determined the driver was a U.S. citizen but that the other four occupants were illegally present in the U.S. from the countries of Mexico and Honduras. All occupants were placed under arrest. The driver and truck were turned over to the Duval County Sheriff’s Office to face state charges.
Especially during the ongoing international COVID-19 pandemic, human smugglers endanger the lives of the illegal immigrants they transport and put at risk the health and safety of U.S. citizens, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. Border Patrol agents are working to prevent the flow of illegal immigration and slow the spread of COVID-19.