Texas Border Recap: Agents Apprehend 210 For Drugs, Human Trafficking, Illegal Crossings, And In Stash Houses

For anyone to understand whether there are actual drugs, smuggling, human trafficking, illegal immigrant crossings or gang activity is a problem or political bloviation, we need the numbers and facts…

By, Corridor Staff

Below you will find new information reported drug, smuggling, human trafficking and illegal crossings that have occurred either on the Texas border and ports over the week of June 5 – June 12, 2018.

As you read below, you may come to understand the issues on the U.S. and Mexico border aren’t a simple problem to be fixed by the current border security or policies out of D.C.

It has been recently published by many media outlets that the drug, smuggling, human trafficking and illegal crossings have been consistently dropping over the last couple of years.

U.S. citizens are given inconsistent information on illegal crossings and criminal activity that is happening on the Mexico and U.S. border. For anyone to understand whether there are actual drug, smuggling, human trafficking, illegal immigrant crossings or gang activity is a problem or political bloviation, we need the numbers and facts.

Texas isn’t the only border state. So as you read the weekly report below, remember this information is only what is occurring on the Texas-Mexico border and Texas ports.

The information below is gathered directly from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is under the purview of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

As for the accuracy of the information we have provided to you, we can only decipher the information that is released to us. Therefore the number of incidents, arrests, types of narcotics, weight and street value is considered the minimum amount…

Below you can find the totals of illegal crossing arrests, including their nationality & drug seizures including pounds, type of drug and “street value” total. Additionally, you will find a link to view last week’s totals.

All people apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure their criminal histories are positively identified. To report suspicious activity such as alien and/or drug smuggling, contact their website at http://www.cbp.gov.  Or follow them on Twitter at @CBPRGV.

The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity at 1-800-863-9382.


Week of June 5 – June 13, 2018

 

Texas Border Arrests/Apprehensions with Nationality

Arrests/Apprehensions U.S. Citizens (USC) (drugs or human smuggling): 5

Illegal Arrests/Apprehensions/Rescued from Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Brazil, Central America, Belize: 210

Total Deceased: 5

Total Weekly Arrests Reported/Apprehensions: 220


Texas Drug Total Seizures & Estimated Street Price

The map above is from an article published on May 3, 2018 in WIKILEAF. We used the pricing from above to calculate the estimated street value of Marijuana.

NOTE: U.S. dollar and weight used

Marijuana (pounds/lbs.):
872.8 lbs.

Estimated Street Value: $3,456,288 Million
(Estimated Street Value Source:Wikileaf.com)

Cocaine (pounds/lbs.):
75 lbs.

Estimated Street Value:
$2.5 Million

Weekly Drug Total (pounds/lbs.): 2022.8 lbs.
Estimated Street Value: $5,956,288 Million

NOTE: The map from WIKILEAF shows the estimated price for 1 ounce of marijuana is $247.50 for street value. Therefore the estimated price for 1 lb. would be $3,960.



Collaborative efforts dismantle four stash houses in the Rio Grande Valley within 24 hours

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Photo by CBP

EDINBURG, Texas –Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents continue to work with local, state and federal partners to identify and disrupt stash house operations.

On Sunday, June 10, Border Patrol agents, working in collaboration with the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Mission Police Department, identified a suspected stash house operating out of a residence in Mission, Texas. A total of 50 illegal aliens were discovered inside.  

On Monday, agents working alongside Hidalgo County Constable Office Precinct 4 and HSI, identified a total of three stash house located in Donna, Alamo, and Edinburg, Texas.  

A total of 109 illegal aliens were discovered inside the three stash houses.

The illegal aliens, comprised of men, women and unaccompanied children, were from Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Belize.

All subjects were offered medical attention and will be processed accordingly.



Border Patrol stops a $2.5M cocaine load in the Rio Grande Valley

Release Date: June 11, 2018

SARITA, Texas – On Friday, agents working the Sarita Checkpoint referred a Dodge Caravan to the secondary inspection area to further question the immigration status of an occupant inside the vehicle.

During the secondary inspection, agents discovered 30 bricks of cocaine weighing over 75 pounds and worth over $2.5M. Both the driver and occupant were taken into custody.

This case is currently under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations.



High temperatures in the Rio Grande Valley increase dangers for smuggled aliens

Release Date: June 11, 2018

EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents continue rescue efforts throughout the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

On Friday, June 8, the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Falfurrias Border Patrol Station regarding a distressed 911 caller who was lost in the brush.

Agents and an Air and Marine helicopter responded to the last known GPS coordinates and located the Mexican national in dense brush south of Falfurrias. The man was transported to a local hospital for a medical evaluation.

Similarly, over the weekend, agents responded to two additional 911 calls resulting in the rescue of five subjects who were abandoned by their smugglers after they could not keep up.

“When a smuggler decides to leave someone behind in this hot climate and terrain, they are leaving them die in a harsh and in humane manner,” said Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. “These rescues are made possible by the coordinated efforts of several law enforcement agencies reacting to a 911 call, but sometimes that call is never made.”

In Kingsville, agents were patrolling the vast ranch-lands when they encountered a Guatemalan woman who was going in and out of consciousness. The woman was transported to the Sarita Checkpoint where she was air lifted to the hospital for medical treatment.

Additionally, agents discovered human remains of a subject left behind in a ranch near Falfurrias, Texas and McAllen agents found another body of someone who drowned attempting to cross the river near Penitas, Texas. Both decedents were transported to the local medical examiner’s office.

RGV Sector urges immigrants not to jeopardize their lives by illegally entering the United States or by attempting to circumvent a checkpoint.



Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Warns Against Danger of Extreme Heat

Release Date: June 11, 2018

Eagle Pass Agents Respond to 911 Call

DEL RIO, Texas – Unseasonably high temperatures, sometimes exceeding more than 100 degrees,  has posed increased dangers to people attempting to enter the United States illegally.

“Most people attempting to enter the country illegally are ill-prepared for the rigorous conditions they face,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Felix Chavez.  “Extreme heat, treacherous terrain, and human smugglers’ disregard for human life, lead to life-threatening situations.”

On June 10, agents assigned to the Eagle Pass South Station were notified by local law enforcement that a 911 call had been placed and several subjects reported they were in distress.

Photo by CBP.

Agents located the group, consisting of three women, one man, and one juvenile – all from Central America – and transported them to the Border Patrol station.

Due to the agents’ swift response, all five survived their ordeal. Also, agents continue to rescue immigrants in distress, including 22 heat-related incidents this fiscal year.

Since October 2017 in the Del Rio Sector area, 11 immigrants have lost their lives due to the heat.

This is an 83 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

As part of the Border Safety Initiative, Del Rio Border Patrol Sector has been working with consular officials from Mexico and Central America to warn against the dangers of people crossing illegally into the United States. 

BSI is a humanitarian, bi-national strategy designed to reduce illegal alien deaths, educate and inform potential illegal aliens of the dangers and hazards of crossing the border illegally, and to respond to those who are in life-threatening situations.



Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents Stop Smuggling Event Involving Eight Illegal Aliens

Release Date: June 9, 2018

LAREDO, Texas – On June 8, 2018, agents assigned to the Laredo South Border Patrol Station responded to a report of illegal activity near the Riverhill Subdivision in Laredo, Texas. 

Upon entering the neighborhood, Border Patrol Agents encountered a white GMC Sonoma in which eight illegal aliens were attempting to hide in the bed of the truck. 

The driver of the vehicle, a United States Citizen, attempted to abscond on foot but was quickly apprehended and placed under arrest. The eight illegal aliens were found in good health and identified as being from the country of Mexico

The case was referred to Homeland Security Investigations.

“These criminal organizations view these individuals as mere commodities without regard for their safety.  The blatant disregard for human life will not be tolerated.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle these organizations and prosecute those responsible,” said Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta.



Laredo Sector Border Patrol Halts Smuggling Attempt

Release Date: June 8, 2018

LAREDO, Texas – On June 8, 2018, Agents assigned to the Laredo Sector Border Patrol Checkpoint on Highway 83, north of Laredo, Texas encountered a 2000 Peterbilt Semi-tractor driven by a United States Citizen.

During the immigration inspection Border Patrol Agents noticed the driver’s nervous posture and behavior. At this time, the semi-truck was referred to secondary inspection where agents discovered six illegal aliens hiding in the cabin of the tractor. After interviewing the subjects, it was determined that they were all from the country of Brazil.

“The criminal element has no regard for the safety of our country. These people could easily have been terrorists entering to cause harm. The United States Border Patrol is committed to disrupting and dismantling these organizations,” said Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the lead investigative agency in this case.

Border Patrol Agents throughout the South Texas Corridor have disrupted numerous tractor-trailer human smuggling cases, often resulting in the rescue of individuals who are placed in life-threatening situations.

The United States Border Patrol in South Texas has taken a proactive approach in mitigating this smuggling trend through the implementation of Operation Big Rig.

Operation Big Rig is a call to action by everyone to call 911 if they see or are aware of smuggling or suspicious activity of any kind.



Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents Seize 22 Bundles of Drugs at the Checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35

Release Date: June 8, 2018

500 lbs. Marijuana found in trailer floor. Photo by CBP.

LAREDO, Texas – On June 4, 2018, Border Patrol Agents working assigned duties at the checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35 seized more than 500 pounds of marijuana

After a service canine alerted to the possible presence of narcotics, the search of an SUV and a flatbed trailer revealed the contraband. All 22 packages of drugs were hidden under the wood floorboards of the trailer. 

The male, U.S. citizen driver, of the vehicle was arrested at the scene without incident.  Subsequent records checks revealed that the subject had an active arrest warrant for possession of heroin.

The driver, narcotics, vehicle, and trailer were all turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency for appropriate action. The estimated value of the illegal drugs is estimated to be nearly half a million dollars – $414,128.00.

This seizure shows the important role that Border Patrol checkpoints play in the protection of America. 

“Seizures such as this one are crucial to the safety of the United States. 

The Border Patrol is committed to keeping these dangerous drugs out of our communities, schools, and homes.  The tireless work of our agents attests to our great mission of keeping America safe,” said Division Chief Greg Burwell.



Laredo Sector Border Patrols Agents Rescue Six Illegal Aliens Trapped Inside Cabinets

Release Date: June 8, 2018

LAREDO, Texas – On June 4, 2018, Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents assigned to work at the checkpoint on U.S. Highway 59, rescued six illegal aliens who were trapped inside cabinets in the back of a truck. 

After a service canine alerted to the possible presence of concealed humans and/or narcotics, agents searched the truck to find the six illegal aliens from Mexico

The six individuals were trapped inside large cabinets that were closed tightly with ratchet straps. The illegal aliens had no means to exit the cabinets as they could only be opened from the outside with the removal of the straps.

The danger in which the six illegal aliens found themselves was compounded by the hot weather and the lack of air circulation inside the cabinets. The female, a United States Citizen was the driver of the truck was arrested at the checkpoint and later turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for prosecution. 

This incident highlights the dangers that illegal aliens often encounter at the hands of smugglers. The unscrupulous smugglers all too often risk the lives of the illegal aliens by placing them in deplorable conditions. 

“This rescue illustrates how Border Patrol works not only to enforce laws, but to protect the sanctity of life along the border. We will always work diligently to disrupt and degrade criminal organizations that constantly put people’s lives in danger. Also, we will do whatever it takes to save lives and prevent people from being subjected to dangerous, deplorable situations,” said Laredo Sector Assistant Division Chief Greg Burwell.



Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents Thwart Illegal Alien Smuggling In South Laredo

Release Date: June 8, 2018

LAREDO, Texas – On June 4, 2018, Border Patrol Agents working assigned duties near Pita Mangana Road stopped a suspicious vehicle after noticing erratic driving and what appeared to be the intent to smuggle illegal aliens.

The vehicle stopped shortly after agents turned on the lights and siren of the Border Patrol Vehicle. As agents approached the stopped vehicle, they noticed a total of 13 people inside the SUV. 

After speaking with the driver, the agents were able to determine that there were three smugglers and 10 illegal aliens. All thirteen passengers in the vehicle were taken into custody without incident. The driver of the vehicle was a male U.S. citizen. 

The case is being handled by Homeland Security Investigations.

“Any and all interdictions of smuggling attempts are good things. The actions that smugglers of illegal aliens take put the community as risk. These smugglers endanger the illegal aliens as well as the citizenry of our communities. The Border Patrol is committed to stopping the smuggling of people and drugs into our country.” said Division Chief Greg Burwell.



Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents with Assistance from National Guard Air Operations Disrupt a Narcotic Smuggling Attempt

Release Date: June 8, 2018

LAREDO, Texas – Border Patrol agents continue to disrupt the flow of drugs into the United States resulting in a seizure of over 300 pounds of narcotics in an event this morning.

On June 6, 2018, Border Patrol agents seized 372.8 pounds of marijuana in a busy intersection West of Laredo, Texas. Border Patrol Agents working together with National Guard Air Operations were able to locate a subject and narcotics in the local area. 

As agents responded to the scene, they located the vehicle where they discovered several bundles of narcotics inside the vehicle. A total of five bundles were found inside the vehicle. The marijuana was estimated to have a value of $298,240.00.

Border Patrol took custody of the driver and vehicle and the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“The vigilance of the men and women of the United States Border Patrol in disrupting the flow of narcotics attests to our commitment in keeping America and its communities safe,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel H. Acosta.



Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents Rescue Illegal Alien Found Severely Dehydrated

Release Date: June 8, 2018

LAREDO, Texas –  On June 5, 2018,  Border Patrol agents assigned to the Laredo Sector Hebbronville Station rescued an illegal alien lost in a ranch near Highway 285. 

Border Patrol agents located the subject and quickly requested Emergency Medical Services to the location to assist and render aid to the subject. Brooks County EMS arrived on scene and took the subject to a local hospital.

The subject was determined to be from the country of Ecuador and illegally in the United States. 

“These events illustrate how the men and women of the United States Border Patrol not only serve to protect our borders, but are also committed to the preservation of life and assist anyone in need,” said Division Chief, Greg Burwell.



Collaboration Between Laredo Sector Border Patrol and Government of Mexico Prevent Human Smuggling Attempt

Release Date: June 8, 2018

LAREDO, Texas – On June 7, 2018, Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents coordinated with the Government of Mexico in an operation which resulted in the arrest of 24 individuals from a stash house in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. 

The incident transpired after agents assigned to the Laredo Sector Intelligence Unit received information regarding a large group of individuals at a residence in Nuevo Laredo, waiting to be smuggled into the United States. 

The information was relayed to the Laredo Sector Foreign Operations Branch who collaborated with the Government of Mexico and coordinated the enforcement action.  The 24 individuals discovered in the stash house were determined to be from the country of Guatemala.

“This enforcement action clearly demonstrates the exceptional level of binational cooperation that the Border Patrol has with the Government of Mexico.  We fully intend to continue this level of cooperation between both governments to detect and prevent the smuggling of individuals,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta.

The Laredo Sector Foreign Operations Branch (LRT FOB) was established in October 2016, for the purpose of streamlining, structuring and building upon the successes of the International Liaison Unit. LRT FOB was built on four pillars consisting of international liaison, consular affairs, bi-national enforcement and bi-national prosecution.



Border Patrol and National Guard Personnel Join Efforts to Rescue Lost Subject in the Rio Grande Valley

Release Date: June 8, 2018

HAVANA, Texas – Joint U.S. Border Patrol, Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG) and Government of Mexico efforts lead to a successful rescue of a lost subject suffering from dehydration.

The rescue occurred yesterday when Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) from the McAllen Station received information relayed from Mexico’s 911-call center regarding a lost Mexican national who was in distress near Havana, Texas. 

Agents operating an aerostat camera scanned the location where the subject was last known to be and located him. Agents provided coordinates to a nearby TXARNG helicopter pilot, working under Operation Guardian Support, and minutes later, the TXARNG pilot located the subject and quickly guided nearby agents to the location. 

At the scene, a BPA, who is a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), evaluated the subject and determined he was suffering from dehydration. The adult Mexican national was treated at the scene for dehydration.

The subject will be processed accordingly.



Rio Grande Valley stash house disrupted

Release Date: June 8, 2018

MISSION, Texas– U.S. Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Sector dismantle a stash house operation resulting in the apprehension of 18 illegal aliens.

On Tuesday, Border Patrol agents, working in collaboration with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, identified a suspected stash house operating out of a residence in Mission, Texas. A total of 18 illegal aliens were located inside.  

The illegal aliens were from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador and El Salvador.

All subjects were offered medical attention and will be processed accordingly.



CBP Agriculture Specialists in Pharr Intercept Rare Pest, a First in the Nation Discovery,in a Persian Lime Shipment

Release Date: June 5, 2018

PHARR, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry discovered a rare pest, a first in nation discovery, in a shipment of Persian limes. 

U.S. Custom & Border Protection agriculture specialists discover a rare pest in a shipment of limes.

“I want to congratulate our agriculture specialists for their continued dedication and their attention to detail which resulted in the interception of a rare, first in nation pest,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “Their outstanding work helps to foster America’s economic security by helping protect American agriculture from adverse impact by invasive species not known to exist in the U.S.”

On May 29, CBP agriculture specialists at the Pharr import lot conducted an inspection on a commercial shipment of Persian limes.

During the inspection of the shipment, CBP agriculture specialists discovered a live pest. The insect was submitted for identification by a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist.

The initial identification was later confirmed by a national specialist as Eburodacrys coalescens Bates, 1884 (Cerambycidae). According to USDA entomologists, this pest has never been found at any of the nation’s ports of entry. CBP refused entry to the shipment and the limes were returned to Mexico. 

The interception is an example of the diligent work CBP agriculture specialists do on a daily basis, which is crucial in preventing foreign pests from becoming established in the U.S. 

Pests that are not known to occur in the U.S. may be detrimental to the nation’s agriculture industry. CBP agriculture specialists continue to fulfill CBP’s agriculture mission by preventing harmful pests and diseases from becoming established in the U.S.

More information regarding CBP’s agriculture inspection mission may be found at this link.



Three deceased individuals found in less than 24 hours in the Rio Grande Valley by multi agency efforts

Release Date: June 5, 2018

EDINBURG, Texas– Coordinated efforts between multiple agencies led to Border Patrol agents assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Sector to three deceased illegal immigrants abandoned by their smugglers in separate incidents.

Yesterday, Border Patrol agents, along with Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) operators and an Air and Marine Operations helicopter, responded to the report of a possible lost subject near Falfurrias, Texas.

After hours of searching, BORSTAR agents located a deceased individual. The Brooks County Sheriff’s Office responded and had the body transported to a local medical examiner’s office.

Later in the day, a National Guard air asset, working Operation Guardian Support, directed Fort Brown agents to a possible deceased subject near Brownsville, Texas. Agents requested Emergency Medical Services who transported the decedent to a local hospital.  

Earlier today, a McAllen agent located the body of a deceased subject in Mission, Texas. The Mission Police Department responded to the scene and the local Justice of the Peace pronounced the individual deceased. The decedent was transported to a local morgue.

RGV Sector urges immigrants not to jeopardize their lives by illegally entering the United States or by attempting to circumvent a checkpoint.



 

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