Texas Border: CBP Seize $12M In Drugs, Arrest MS-13 Gang Member, Child Sex Offender & Rescues Woman In Labor

Texas Border: CBP Seize $12M In Drugs, Arrest MS-13 Gang Member, Child Sex Offender & Rescues Woman In Labor
Photo Credit To Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Staff Report

NOTE: Due to the lack of information that is currently available from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, we reached out and were informed that protecting the border is their first priority; currently, they are heavily involved in caravan operations on the Texas Border as a large portion of the latest caravan reached the Texas Border. Therefore, we expect what information we receive will be minimal for the time being.

Below you will find the latest information available for reported drug smuggling, human trafficking and illegal crossings that have occurred on the Texas border and ports.

It has been published by many news outlets around the country that the criminal activity on our Texas-Mexico border has been consistently dropping over the last couple of years, and Americans and Texans have been given inconsistent information on what is occurring on our border.

Our U.S. border issues are complex, and they affect all Texans. This is our home, and to most Texans, the border isn’t a political issue or a tool to use against another political party; this is a safety and security issue for us, our children, families, friends and our local and national law enforcement.

As you read below, we hope the information provided will help all Texans to better understand the problems happening on our southern border and what we need to do to repair our current immigration laws and policies that stem from our lawmakers in D.C.

However, to better understand if these are real problems or just political bloviation concerning our southern border with drug smuggling, human trafficking of children and adults, unaccompanied children and illegal immigrant crossings that include gang members and many from terrorist countries, we need the real numbers, facts and statistics.

Texas isn’t the only state that shares a border with Mexico. Therefore, as you read our weekly report below, remember this information is only what is occurring on the Texas-Mexico border and Texas ports.

This information has been gathered and compiled directly from information given to us by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is under the purview of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

As for the accuracy of the information we are providing to you, we can only decipher the information that is released to us. Therefore, the number of incidents, arrests, types of narcotics, weight or the street value of said narcotics is considered the minimum amount.

We give the totals of illegal crossing arrests, including their nationality, drug seizures including weight and “street value” totals, current charges or convictions of those apprehended and other items to help all of us make educated decisions. Additionally, we include links to our other weekly border stories.

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 800-863-9382.

Read related border coverage:

 

 


NOTE: The totals below for arrests, apprehensions, seizures, drugs, etc. are ONLY what is reported by Customs & Border Protection to us. There are multiple incidents that happen everyday on all U.S. borders that aren’t reported. Corridor News is not responsible for what is NOT reported or incorrectly reported.

Feb. 21 – Feb. 27, 2019

Texas Border Reported Arrests/Apprehensions

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Reported Arrests/Apprehensions from the following counties;

El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and USC (U.S. Citizen)

Arrests/Apprehensions: 109+ (“+”: see note below)

Of those above there were…

U.S. Citizen(s): 4
Child Sex Offender:
1
Gang Member(s): MS-13 – 1
Rescue(s): 4
 ° 2- One male and his 16 year old son from drowning
 ° 1- One female who had been kidnapped by traffickers
 ° 1- One pregnant female giving birth
Fatality(ies): 1
Seizures
  ° Commercial Vehicle(s): 5
  ° Passenger Vehicle(s) Seized: 4
  ° Commercial shipment of avocados

• Arrests with Prior Criminal Conviction(s) & Criminal Active Warrant(s): 2

Outstanding Warrant(s): 1
Prior Criminal Conviction(s): 1

  • 1 Active Warrant: Two-counts of murder charge occurring on New Year’s Day in Durham, North Carolina New Year’s Eve Day.
  • 1 Prior Conviction: Four counts of sodomy of a child under 13 years of age in the state of Virginia and served 8 months before being deported.

    *Note: “+”; U.S. Customs and Border Patrol did not list specific totals and/or countries on some reported incidents.


Texas Border Weekly Narcotic Seizures & Estimated Street Price

*NOTE: The totals below are an estimate of what was reported to us. U.S. dollar and pounds used.

Marijuana
  ° 7,892 lbs.
  ° $6,392,520
Cocaine
 ° 306.48 lbs.
 ° $3,919,266
Methamphetamine
 ° 45 lbs.
 ° $1,400,000
Heroin
  ° 10.9 lbs.
  ° $249,414

 

 


Total Weight of Narcotics: 8,254(*+) lbs.

Estimated Street Value of Narcotics: $11,961,200(*+)

 

 

 

 

 

CBP at Pharr International Bridge Seizes $181K Worth of Cocaine

Packages containing 23.48 pounds of cocaine seized by CBP officers at Pharr International Bridge. | Photo by CBP

PHARR, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered $181,000 worth of cocaine hidden within a commercial tractor/trailer arriving from Mexico.

“This compact but significant interception of hard narcotics is yet another example of CBP’s continued resolve to keep dangerous drugs out of our communities,” said Port Director David Gonzalez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “Whether it’s a pound or a ton, any seizure of narcotics is a win for our officers, who work tirelessly every day towards this commitment.”

CBP officers assigned to the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility on Feb. 26 referred a 44-year-old male Mexican citizen driving tractor/
trailer for further inspection after an initial inspection revealed discrepancies.

Whether it’s a pound or a ton, any seizure of narcotics is a win for our officers, who work tirelessly every day towards this commitment…

Further examination of the conveyance resulted in the discovery of 10 packages of alleged cocaine weighing 23.48 pounds (10.64 kg) concealed within the Kenworth tractor. CBP OFO seized the cocaine and the tractor/trailer.

CBP OFO arrested the driver who was ultimately released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigations.

Man Sought in Killing and Attempting to Enter Mexico is Nabbed by CBP Officers at Presidio Port

PRESIDIO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working outbound operations at the Presidio port of entry Tuesday evening apprehended a man being sought on a two-count murder charge warrant.

The double homicide occurred on New Year’s Day in Durham, North Carolina.

“CBP officers performing their vital homeland security mission encounter wanted people on a daily basis,” said Michael Neipert, CBP Presidio Port Director. “It is important for the safety and security of our nation that those who attempt to escape justice are held accountable.”

The apprehension of the U.S. citizen was made at approximately 9:35 p.m. when 20-year-old Jose Manuel Regino-Vargas attempted to exit the U.S. into Mexico.

It is important for the safety and security of our nation that those who attempt to escape justice are held accountable…

A query of the man’s name came back positive in the National Crime Information Center database for an arrest warrant.

Finger printing of the man confirmed a match on the warrant. The man was turned over to Presidio police department and was booked into the Brewster County jail to await extradition.

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Apprehends Group of 90

Woman Gives Birth After Crossing Rio Grande River

Border Patrol agents encountered a group of 90 people who had recently crossed the Rio Grande River. | Photo by CBP

EAGLE PASS, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Eagle Pass Station apprehended a large group of undocumented immigrants Monday morning in the small town of Quemado, which lies just northwest of Eagle Pass.

At approximately 8:40 a.m. agents conducting routine patrol operations in Quemado, encountered a group of 90 people who had recently crossed the Rio Grande River.

All of the people in the group were Honduran nationals, many of whom were women and children ranging from 1 to 17 years of age.

The group surrendered to the arresting agents without incident.

A transport bus and several support units responded to the area to assist in transporting the group to the Eagle Pass South Station for processing.

“Although groups of this size, until recently, have been uncommon in the Del Rio area, our agents are encountering larger groups of immigrants with women and young children,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “Our highest priority will always be the safety of all people involved, no matter the situation. However, it is a criminal offense to enter the United States at a place other than a designated port of entry. Those who choose to enter illegally will be arrested and handled accordingly.”

Upon arrival, a woman in the group was experiencing abdominal pain and stated that she was pregnant. She was rushed to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center where she went into labor and gave birth…

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.

Uvalde Border Patrol Agents Seize $227K Worth of Heroin

Agents found 10.9 pounds of heroin with an estimated worth of $227,700 hidden under the back seat of the vehicle. | Photo by CBP

DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Uvalde Station seized 10.9 pounds of heroin at the U.S. Highway 90 immigration checkpoint.

“Border Patrol agents are committed to protecting our country from a wide array of threats,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “This seizure highlights the contribution our agents and our checkpoints make in keeping dangerous drugs out of our communities and ultimately saving lives.”

On Feb. 24, Uvalde Border Patrol agents assigned to the immigration checkpoint on Highway 90, arrested a 50-year-old Houston man with 10.9 pounds of heroin with an estimated worth of $227,700 hidden under the back seat of the vehicle.

The man and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which leverages
federal, state and local resources to combat
transnational criminal organizations.

Border Patrol Seizes over $2.3M worth of Marijuana in the Rio Grande Valley

EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents disrupted four separate narcotic smuggling attempts and seized over 1100 pounds of marijuana over a three day period.

Friday, agents from the Rio Grande City station working near Cuevitas, Texas, observed multiple subjects walking north of the Rio Grande carrying bundles of suspected narcotics.

As agents responded, the smugglers abandoned the narcotics and fled to Mexico. Agents seized four bundles of marijuana weighing nearly 210 pounds, worth an estimated $168K.

On Saturday, Rio Grande City agents on patrol near Rio Grande City, Texas, observed multiple subject’s footprints on a river road heading north.

As agents searched the nearby brush, they observed six smugglers go back to Mexico. A search of the area led to the discovery of five bundles of marijuana weighing more than 346 pounds, worth an estimated $277K.

U.S. Border Patrol agents disrupted four separate narcotic smuggling attempts and seized over 1100 pounds of marijuana over a three day period…

Sunday, Harlingen agents working near El Calaboz, Texas, observed multiple subjects carrying bundles north of the Rio Grande.

As agents responded, the smugglers abandoned the bundles and fled to Mexico. A search of the area revealed three bundles of marijuana weighing over 190 pounds, worth an estimated $152K.

In addition, over the three-day period, Border Patrol agents seized over 410 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $330K in a separate incident.

Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Agents Stop Cocaine Smuggling Attempts

EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents seized over $650K worth of cocaine at the immigration checkpoints. 

Thursday, Falfurrias agents working at the checkpoint referred a vehicle to secondary inspection area and located four bundles of cocaine inside the vehicle. The narcotics weighed over eight pounds, worth an estimated $282K. Agents arrested the driver and passenger.

On Friday, Kingsville agents working at the Sarita checkpoint arrested two United States citizens after finding five bundles of cocaine concealed inside a sports utility vehicle.

The cocaine weighed over 11 pounds worth an estimated $378K. Border Patrol referred both cases for federal prosecution.

The Rio Grande Valley Sector currently has multiple campaigns focused on rescues and danger awareness, such as “Operation Big Rig” and “No Se Arriesgue” to combat smuggling and ultimately save lives. Call 911 to report suspicious activity; “They’re humans, not cargo!”   

Border Patrol Agents Apprehend MS-13 Gang Member in Eagle Pass

Salvadoran National, a MS-13 Gang Member Previously Deported

Eagle Pass South Station arrested a member of Mara Salvatrucha. Photo by CBP

Eagle Pass, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Eagle Pass South Station arrested a member of the Mara Salvatrucha, MS-13, criminal gang, who had been previously deported.

“Violent criminals continue to illegally cross the border and attempt to make their way farther into the United States,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “Our agents do a remarkable job of preventing these types of criminals from entering and harming our communities.”

On Feb. 23, Border Patrol agents conducting linewatch operations near Eagle Pass,
apprehended a 29-year-old Salvadoran national.

Records checks revealed he was deported from the United States in November of 2018 and is a self-admitted member of the notorious MS-13 gang.

Violent criminals continue to illegally cross the border and attempt to make their way farther into the United States…

The man faces prosecution under 8 USC § 1326 – reentry after deportation, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.

CBP Field Operations Seizes 1.5 Tons of Marijuana at Pharr International Bridge

CBP officers discover bundles of marijuana hidden within a commercial shipment of avocados at Pharr International Bridge. | Photo by CBP

PHARR, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility seized $2,320,230 worth of marijuana in two separate, unrelated incidents this past week.

“Marijuana is being intercepted in large quantities in this region both at and in between the ports of entry,” said Port Director David Gonzalez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.

CBP officers at our port and throughout the Laredo Field Office are encountering and seizing colossal loads of marijuana.

Marijuana is being intercepted in large quantities in this region both at and in between the ports of entry…

CBP officers assigned to the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility on Feb. 19 referred an empty tractor/trailer arriving from Mexico for further examination.

Bundles containing 2,119 pounds of marijuana, one of two cargo narcotics loads totaling 1.5 tons seized by CBP officers at PharrUpload Files International Bridge. | Photo by CBP

The meticulous inspection resulted in the discovery of 343 packages weighing 818 pounds (371 kg) of alleged marijuana hidden within the trailer.

Days later, on Feb. 22, a commercial shipment of fresh avocados arrived at the same cargo facility and after a thorough inspection utilizing all available tools and resources, CBP officers discovered 421 packages of alleged marijuana.

This interception totaled 2,119 pounds (961 kg) of marijuana worth $1,674,010.

CBP OFO utilized canine teams and non-intrusive imaging technology (NII) along with officer expertise in the discovery of these seizures.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the investigative agency on these cases.

Border Patrol Agents Save Father and Son from Drowning

Agents deployed a rescue rope, and safely pulled them both aboard the vessel. | Photo by CBP

EAGLE PASS, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents, assigned to the marine unit in Eagle Pass, rescued a father and son from the Rio Grande River.

“Migrants continue to ignore the hazards and risk their lives by attempting to cross the Rio Grande River,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “Thankfully our marine agents were able to respond quickly and prevented a loss of life.”

On Feb. 23, agents from the Eagle Pass Station marine unit, observed two individuals begin to make their way toward the United States side of the Rio Grande River across the international border from Piedras Negras, Mexico.

The two people quickly began to struggle to stay afloat in swift current.

The agents immediately recognized the danger and navigated their service vessel toward the individuals, deployed a rescue rope, and safely pulled them both aboard the vessel.

The father, 33, and son, 16, both nationals of Guatemala, were not injured and refused medical treatment. Both were processed per CBP guidelines.

Thankfully our marine agents were able to respond quickly and prevented a loss of life…

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.

Eagle Pass Border Patrol Agents Recover Body from Rio Grande

EAGLE PASS, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol marine units from the Eagle Pass Station recovered the body of a deceased man from the Rio Grande River on Friday afternoon.

“The recovery of a deceased person is one of the grimmest tasks our agents carry out,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “This tragic and most recent death highlights the danger and unpredictability of the Rio Grande River.”

On Feb. 22, marine agents, while conducting a routine patrol, encountered a deceased person in the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass. 

A Maverick County justice of the peace and personnel from the Memorial Funeral Home responded to recover the body of the unidentified male. The remains were transported to the funeral home.

Since Oct. 2018, there have been five deaths reported in the Del Rio Sector…

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.

CBP Officers Intercept $2.3 Million in Narcotics in Back-to-Back Seizures at World Trade Bridge

Packages containing 264 pounds of cocaine seized by CBP officers at World Trade Bridge. | Photo by CBP

LAREDO, Texas – As Laredo celebrated Washington’s birthday this weekend with multiple events, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers kept sharp focus on border security efforts, seizing a total of $2.3 million in cocaine, marijuana in back-to-back enforcement actions at World Trade Bridge.

These seizures underscore the seriousness of the drug threat our officers face daily and our firm resolve
to keep our border communities
secure…

“While Laredo geared up for the final weekend of the Washington’s birthday celebration, our frontline CBP officers steadfastly carried out CBP’s border security mission and intercepted two significant loads of narcotics in the cargo environment,” said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “These seizures underscore the seriousness of the drug threat our officers face daily and our firm resolve to keep our border communities secure.”

The larger valued seizure occurred on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the World Trade Bridge when a CBP officer referred a 2003 Freightliner tractor hauling an empty trailer for a secondary examination.

Following a canine and non-intrusive imaging system inspection, CBP officers discovered 99 bundles containing a total 264 pounds of alleged cocaine hidden within the conveyance. The narcotics have an estimated street value of $2.3 million.

The more recent seizure occurred on Sunday, Feb. 24 at the same bridge when CBP officers utilizing canines and a non-intrusive imaging system discovered 50 packages containing a total of nearly 1,347 pounds of marijuana within a 2010 International tractor hauling a shipment of bentonite clay. The narcotics have an estimated street value of $269,314.

In both seizures, CBP officers seized the narcotics and the cases were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

CBP Enhances Security in El Paso in Preparation for Increasing Numbers of Migrants to Border Region

EL PASO, Texas – Due to reports of the increasing numbers of migrants arriving in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez across from El Paso, CBP is currently enhancing security efforts in the area.

To ensure the ports of entry are not overrun by a large number of people attempting to enter the U.S. illegally, CBP has taken steps to harden its ports.

Currently, hardening materials are being deployed to the POEs in El Paso, Texas, to act as impediments to illegal crossers.

These include concrete K-rails and concertina wire. These are the same port hardening materials recently employed by CBP at border ports in California and southern Texas when experiencing similar issues.

Waiting until a large group of persons mass at the border to attempt an illegal crossing is too late for us; it is vital that we are prepared prior to when they arrive at the border crossing…

At this time CBP is relying on existing El Paso port of entry personnel to support the hardening efforts. CBP continues to monitor the flow of caravan members and those from other nations who are attempting to enter the U.S. from Mexico.

Border Patrol Intercepts $1.4M worth of Methamphetamine in the RIo Grande Valley

EDINBURG, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley continue to interdict narcotics at immigration checkpoints and between ports of entry.

On Wednesday afternoon, agents working at the Falfurrias Checkpoint referred a vehicle to the secondary inspection area after a Border Patrol K-9 alerted.

During the inspection, agents located over 45 pounds of methamphetamine, worth an estimated $1.4M, inside the vehicle. Agents arrested the driver and turned the case over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Border Patrol Nabs Sex Offender Illegally Entering the U.S

EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrested a previously deported sex offender as he attempted to enter the United States illegally near the location of the old Asarco plant in El Paso, Texas.

Border Patrol Agents working near the downtown area arrested three illegal aliens from El Salvador as they attempted to enter the United States illegally early Wednesday morning. 

Record checks revealed  that 33-year-old Mario Guevara-Cartagena was convicted in October, 2013 with four counts of sodomy of a child under 13 years of age in the state of Virginia.

He served eight months in prison before being removed from the United States in June 2014.

In recent months the U.S. Border Patrol has noted a trend with human smuggling organizations where they purposely direct people to turn themselves in to Agents.

While Agents are busy processing those who are surrendering the organizations are smuggling other people or contraband though different locations…

These attempts have been thwarted thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Border Patrol who in turn are keeping convicted criminals out of our communities.

Honduran Woman Claims She Was Kidnapped by Smuggler

DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Eagle Pass Station arrested a group of illegal aliens near Eagle Pass, Texas.  A Honduran female in the group stated she was kidnapped in Mexico before entering the United States.

“Smugglers have no regard for human dignity or safety in the pursuit of profits,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “The Border Patrol asks people not to put their lives in danger by making this journey.”

On Feb. 20, at approximately 1 p.m., Eagle Pass Station Border Patrol agents arrested a Honduran woman shortly after she made an illegal entry by crossing the Rio Grande River.

During initial processing, the woman claimed to have been kidnapped while in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico and held against her will at a stash house.

The woman was told she was to be held captive until her family met the smuggler’s ransom demands. After three days, she was able to escape and eventually traveled to Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, where she made her illegal entry into the United States. She will be processed per CBP Guidelines.

Notifications were made to the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Government of Mexico, as well as the Honduran consulate regarding the alleged kidnapping…

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.

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