Border Patrol agents in South Texas discovered a trailer-load of illegal aliens as a human smuggler attempted to move them through a checkpoint. The agents discovered 22 hiding among other cargo.
Agents assigned to the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint in Brooks County observed a tractor-trailer approaching the inspection lanes on December 31. During the primary stop, a K-9 agent alerted to the possible presence of human or drug cargo inside. The agents asked the driver to move his rig to a secondary station, information provided to Breitbart Texas by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials revealed.
During a secondary inspection, the agents discovered 22 illegal aliens hidden among the cargo. Due to the cold temperatures in the trailer, agents offered medical assistance. Officials said the help was declined.
The agents arrested the group and transported them to the Falfurrias Station for processing. The party originated from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, officials reported.
Following recent deaths and close scares of illegal aliens being transported in trailers, Border Patrol officials launched a public relations campaign to draw attention to the issue.
#RGV Law Enforcement is supporting #OperationBigRig and
encourages the public to dial 9-1-1 if they see smuggling or suspicious activity.
One phone call can save a life. @CustomsBorder @JTFWest @TATKylla @TxDPS @TxDOT @ICEgov @LovesTravelStop @TATravelCenters @PilotFlyingJ pic.twitter.com/0ByNHWAck4
— CBP RGV (@CBPRGV) January 2, 2018
In October 2017, truck driver James Matthew Bradley, Jr. pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to transport aliens resulting in death and one count of transporting aliens resulting in death. He could face up to life in prison during a sentencing hearing scheduled for January 2018.
On December 27, agents stopped another load of human cargo from being smuggled through the Falfurrias Checkpoint. In a rental truck, agents found nine illegal aliens from Mexico and Guatemala in the cargo area. They became aware of the load when a K-9 officer alerted to their presence.
As are more aggressive with truckloads, human smugglers become more desperate to force their human cargo through dangerous ranchlands around the checkpoint.
In 2017, the bodies or remains of 52 migrants were recovered by Border Patrol agents and sheriff’s deputies in Brooks County alone, Breitbart Texas reported.
“We had 52 people die in our county this year while trying to bypass the Falfurrias Checkpoint,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview on Wednesday. “They die because these callous human smugglers have no regard for human life. These people are just cargo to them.”
Martinez expressed concern for 2018 as the opening of an expanded Border Patrol checkpoint in his county will likely force more people into the brush.
“The more people that are pushed into the ranchlands with these human smugglers, the more deaths we are likely to have,” the sheriff explained. “These smugglers just don’t care about the lives of these people. If they fall behind for any reason — these smugglers abandon them and leave them for dead.”
“Some are lucky enough to find their way to a roadway for help. Some have cell phones and manage to call for help,” Martinez stated. “In 2017, 52 of these people had neither and died agonizing deaths from dehydration, heat exhaustion, or hypothermia.”