McALLEN, Texas—Six Mexican nationals confessed to federal agents of smuggling marijuana bundles in order to pay off their cartel river crossing fees to enter the U.S. illegally.
The arrest took place earlier this week when a U.S. Border Patrol agent spotted a set of footprints not far from the Rio Grande and followed them to find seven illegal immigrants sleeping in the brush, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.
The agent apprehended one of the sleeping immigrants and radioed for help as the rest of the group took off running. Other agents responded to the scene and arrested all seven and recovered various bundles of marijuana.
One of the immigrants, identified as Luis Sanchez Meza, said he did not carry any drugs and merely tried to enter the country illegally. The other six men displayed marks on their shoulder areas that, according to Border Patrol, are consistent with carrying marijuana bundles, court records revealed.
The other six men who were identified as Sergio Hernandez, Christian Rodriguez, Alex Alvarez, Gerardo Martinez, Alfredo Rodriguez and Juan Alfredo De Alva all came from Mexico.
During a subsequent interview with agents all six of the men admitted to having agreed to smuggle the marijuana bundles so that the criminal organization would waive their river crossing fees.
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Mexican drug cartels such as the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas have control access to the banks of the Rio Grande in order to benefit their drug and human smuggling endeavors. During last year’s immigration crisis, the Gulf Cartel made $38 million off human smuggling in a matter of months, many times using illegal immigrants to tie up authorities in order to get their drug shipments across.