BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The Gulf Cartel made $38 million smuggling illegal aliens during last year’s immigration surge, taking advantage of the situation to smuggle tons of drugs with little intervention by authorities. The quantification of the cartel’s involvement was made in a report by the top law enforcement agency in Texas.
As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) had prepared the report to inform lawmakers about the border surge, the potential for terrorists, and the funding needs of the agency. The report had initially been leaked by the Houston Chronicle; however that publication mainly focused on the cost of having an increased number of troopers in South Texas instead of the scores of criminal activities listed in it.
According to the assessment made by DPS, “nearly all illegal aliens who have illegally entered the United States made use of alien smuggling organizations (ASOs), nearly all of which are associated with Mexican cartels.”
During the summer of 2014, hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens entered the country through the Rio Grande Valley quickly overwhelming the detention capabilities of the Department of Homeland Security. As a response to the increase numbers, illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico were detained temporarily and then released with a notice to appear in court for immigration procedures, a measure that was used by human smugglers as an incentive.
According to DPS, as of July 2014, the Gulf Cartel was receiving so many immigrants that the organization did not know what to do with them. The criminal organization charged $3,500 to move aliens over the river in Reynosa and $8,000 to move aliens over an international bridge using loaded 18-wheelers, the report revealed.
In some cases, aliens have been forced to work for the Gulf Cartel helping them push drugs or groups of aliens. The Gulf Cartel used human smuggling to draw attention away from drug smuggling, thus overwhelming the capabilities of law enforcement on the Texas side. The group would use a bait group of illegal aliens from Central or South America, intending have them caught and knowing they will eventually be released, while groups of Mexicans or drug loads are moved elsewhere.
“The bait group is either left on the river bank or left in an open area where they can easily be spotted. They are told to stay and wait for a guide to return or instructed to walk straight north in order to increase the chances of detection,” the report revealed.
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, since early February, the human smuggling in the Rio Grande Valley is linked to the Gulf Cartel, which has been engaged in an internal war where two rival factions are fighting for control of the region. The violence has included large scale gun battles in the border cities of Matamoros and Reynosa using machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, and other pieces of artillery.
While law enforcement refers to human smugglers as ASOs, in fact many of their members are in fact members of drug cartels who engage in drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, and cash smuggling for the criminal organizations; the human smugglers also victimize the illegal aliens and tend to abuse the women, the report revealed.
“In some cases, ASOs are suspected of forcing or compelling women and girls to work as prostitutes or delivering smuggled women and girls to sex traffickers. In some rare cases, groups of illegal aliens have been kidnapped or hijacked by criminals from smugglers, subjecting them to further exploitation,” the report revealed.