A traffic stop by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper led to the arrest of a human smuggler and the disruption of a “significant human smuggling operation.”
A Texas DPS trooper stopped an un-refrigerated commercial box truck for a traffic violation on the afternoon of August 19. During the traffic stop, the trooper observed a group of people attempting to hide in the hot cargo area of the truck, according to information obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
The trooper requested assistance from Border Patrol agents to identify the subjects locked in the cargo area of the box truck. McAllen Station Border Patrol agents responded and identified the 15 people in the back of the truck as illegal immigrants. The agents placed them under arrest for immigration violations while the DPS trooper arrested the driver and seized the box truck, officials stated.
Questioning of the migrants led to the discovery of a suspected human smuggling stash house in Mission, Texas. The troopers and Border Patrol agents went to the residence and discovered 11 more illegal immigrants.
During the preceding three days, Border Patrol agents disrupted five additional human smuggling attempts. These interdictions led to the arrest of the human smugglers and the apprehension of 23 more migrants, officials reported.
In total, the Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents arrested 50 migrants during the failed human smuggling attempts last week.
Elsewhere in Texas, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents teamed up with Texas DPS troopers to stop 12 human smuggling attempts during a two-day period, Breitbart Texas reported. The interdictions led to the arrests of 14 smugglers and the apprehension of 48 additional migrants.
Under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agents conduct a medical screening and criminal background investigation on all of all apprehended migrants. Once cleared, most are expelled to Mexico within two hours, according to CBP officials.
The alleged human smugglers now face charges under 8 USC 1324 — Alien Smuggling. If convicted on the federal felony charges, each smuggler could face up to 10 years in prison, the report concludes.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face