U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Sector disrupted a smuggling operation using a makeshift ferry to haul drugs across the border.
Agents from the Fort Brown Station observed a red Jeep Grand Cherokee making landfall Thursday afternoon on the American side of the Rio Grande River border with Mexico, just south of Brownsville, Texas. The Jeep quickly moved northward into Texas, according to information obtained from U.S. Border Patrol officials by Breitbart Texas.
As the vehicle headed north away from the river, Border Patrol agents moved in quickly to intercept the SUV. The suspect was only able to drive a short distance into the U.S. After turning back towards the river, the agents stopped the SUV just short of the riverbank. The driver jumped out of the Jeep and into the river. He swam back to Mexico.
Smugglers will frequently drive their vehicle into the river while attempting to avoid arrest. The move will sometimes allow other smugglers on the Mexican side of the river to jump in and recover some of the drugs before they can be seized by American authorities, Border Patrol agents told Breitbart Texas in the past.
Agents searched the Jeep and found 26 bundles of marijuana. The drugs weighed 600 pounds, officials stated. Border Patrol officials estimated the value of the seized load of marijuana to be nearly $500,000.
No arrests were made as the smuggler fled back to Mexico to avoid arrest and prosecution. The Jeep and the drugs were seized by the agency.
Smugglers frequently use small rafts to move human smuggling cargo across the river. The use of makeshift ferries by smugglers to move vehicles across the border is not as common.