Border Patrol agents from the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley Sectors joined up to raid a stash house where 44 illegal immigrants were being warehoused.
The agents raided a stash house near Donna, Texas, located south of McAllen along the Rio Grande Border with Mexico. Agents also captured and arrested the smuggler who managed the human warehouse.
The agents joined forces with Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office deputies, information provided to Breitbart Texas by U.S. Border Patrol officials. The law enforcement officials received a tip about suspicious activity at the house. After obtaining permission to search the home, the agents and deputies found that 44 people from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras were being held in the home.
Human smugglers frequently store their human cargo in what Border Patrol officials have described in the past as “deplorable” conditions. The women are often sexually assaulted or threatened while men are frequently beaten. They are oftentimes held for ransom as cartel-connected smugglers contact family members requesting additional funds to move their loved one forward along the smuggling trail, Breitbart Texas has reported in the past.
“The outstanding work done by all involved is a great example of how our enforcement strategy, utilizing collaboration across the South Texas Corridor, is working,” Rio Grande Valley Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz said in a written statement. “In this case, 44 illegal immigrants were spared from being held in a crammed stash house and a smuggler was apprehended.”
The 44 migrants were removed from the house and taken to the Weslaco Station for processing. The human smuggler, a Mexican national, was arrested and turned over for prosecution.
“The callous disregard for human life in which these persons were subjected to and the inhumane conditions that they were placed in demonstrates how heartless these smugglers can be,” said Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Mario Martinez.
The joint operation, carried out by agents from the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley Sectors, is part of an on-going Border Safety Initiative. The program is described as a humanitarian, bi-national strategy aimed at reducing migrant deaths. It also serves to educate the public in addition to informing potential illegal immigrants about the dangers of turning their lives or the lives of their children over to the ruthless cartel smugglers.