63 Arrested in Mountain Smuggling Operations in New Mexico near Border

Border Patrol agents apprehend a large group of migrants in the Mt. Cristo Rey region of New Mexico. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Paso Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/El Paso Sector

El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended several groups of migrants illegally crossing into New Mexico on September 21. Agents noted the danger of these nighttime smuggling attempts through mountainous terrain.

Agents assigned to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol station utilizing surveillance equipment observed multiple groups crossing the border in the Mt. Cristo Rey area. The groups varied in size from 3 to 13, according to El Paso Sector officials.

Officials report the lack of border walls in the region and the natural concealment characteristics of the Mt. Cristo Rey region make for prime opportunities for the human smuggling operations of Transnational Criminal Organizations. “The treacherous terrain through this mountainous area also poses many dangers for migrants,” officials said in a written statement.

Agents worked all of the independent smuggling attempts and apprehended 63 migrants. The migrants came to the U.S. from multiple countries including Cuba, Ecuador, and Honduras. Agents report migrants from “several other nations.”

Indicative of the dangers of these types of smuggling operations, Border Patrol agents provided first aid to one of the people who sustained an injury from crossing through the “treacherous terrain,” officials reported.

“The hazardous terrain of Mt. Cristo Rey and its surrounding area continues to be exploited by Transnational Criminal Organizations,” stated El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “The limited visibility during the hours of darkness and the steep terrain increases the risk of injuries for migrants exploited by smugglers that have complete disregard for human safety.”

Through the first 11 months of Fiscal Year 2020, which began on September 1, 2019, El Paso Sector agents apprehended 46,455 migrants who illegally crossed the border between ports of entry. Single adults made up the largest portion of these illegal immigrants (32,309). Family Unit Aliens accounted for 10,075 of the balance while Unaccompanied Alien Children filled out the numbers at 4,171, according to the CBP’s August Southwest Border Migration Report.

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 Facebook.


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