49 Migrants Found Locked in Tractor-Trailer at West Texas Border Patrol Checkpoint

Sierra Blanca Border Patrol agents find 49 migrants locked inside a tractor-trailer at the Interstate 10 Immigration Checkpoint. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Big Bend Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Big Bend Sector

Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 49 migrants found locked inside a tractor-trailer at the Interstate 10 immigration checkpoint. The apprehension at the checkpoint comes on the same day Border Patrol officials closed similar checkpoints in the Del Rio Sector. Officials have subsequently closed the Laredo Sector checkpoints in an attempt to divert additional resources to the humanitarian crisis in Del Rio, Texas.

Sierra Blanca Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 10 immigration checkpoint on September 16 observed a tractor-trailer approaching for inspection. A K-9 inspection led to an alert indicating the possible presence of drug or human cargo in the trailer, according to information obtained from Border Patrol officials.

During a secondary inspection, a physical search led to the discovery of 49 migrants who were locked inside the trailer. Officials identified the migrants as citizens of Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru.

“Checkpoint operations are vital to monitoring the egress of illegal activity into the United States,” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin stated. “Agents and their K-9 partners were able to positively identify a large smuggling scheme, saving multiple individuals from a potentially dangerous situation.”

The discovery in the Big Bend Sector came on the same day Border Patrol officials closed similar checkpoints in the Del Rio Sector, Breitbart Texas reported. The closure comes as Border Patrol officials attempt to divert resources to the Del Rio International Bridge where more than 12,000 mostly Haitian migrants were being detained.

The sector completely closed three checkpoints and transitioned two more from vehicle inspections to processing and detaining migrants.

On Friday evening, Breitbart Texas reported that all six immigration checkpoints in the Laredo Sector were also closed to move resources to the crisis in Del Rio. This includes the massive checkpoint on Interstate 35 between Laredo and San Antonio. This checkpoint screens more than 6,000 passenger vehicles and 4,000 commercial vehicles per day.

Breitbart’s Randy Clark, a 32-year Border Patrol veteran, wrote:

The immigration checkpoints are the last line of defense for the Border Patrol and an integral part of their national security strategy.

In addition to a brief citizenship inspection at the checkpoints, the Border Patrol deploys canines trained to detect concealed humans and narcotics. Non-Intrusive backscatter x-ray inspections of vehicles are used to scan for concealed humans and narcotics as well. Radiation detection equipment is used to look for radioactive materials and is critical to the United States’ national security interests.

Breitbart Texas reports regularly on the increase in drug and human smuggling activity that is interdicted at these checkpoints in the Laredo and Del Rio Sectors.

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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