Border Patrol agents continue to find human smuggling stash houses along the Mexican border between the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo, Texas.
In the past two weeks, agents disrupted operations in multiple stash houses and found approximately 200 migrants awaiting their turn to be smuggled through or around inland checkpoints.
On Monday, agents assigned to the McAllen Border Patrol station teamed up with Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies and special agents from Homeland Security Investigations to raid a stash house in McAllen, Texas. The agents found a total of 70 migrants packed into the small house.
Two days earlier, McAllen Station agents worked with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Hidalgo County deputies to raid another house in Penitas. Law enforcement officials were tipped off to the suspicious house. During the raid, officials discovered 37 inside.
While the nationalities of the migrants were not disclosed, agents said there were men, women, and juveniles found in the houses.
Laredo Sector agents received a request for assistance from Laredo Police Department officers on Friday, April 25. The officers reported a suspicious house. Inside, agents found 25 illegal immigrants including men, women, and children, Laredo Sector officials stated. An investigation revealed the migrants came to the U.S. from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
Agents assigned to the Weslaco Station received information about another possible stash house on April 19. Agents responded with Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies and found a total of 39 illegal immigrants packed into the filthy house. The migrants came to the U.S. from Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, and Ecuador, RGV Border Patrol officials stated.
That same day, Laredo Sector agents busted another stash house containing 56 illegal immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras.
Migrants are kept locked inside these types of stash houses near the Mexican border until their journey to the U.S. interior can be scheduled. Often, they are beaten and held for ransom as cartel-connected human smugglers attempt to extort additional money from family members.
In total, agents found 227 illegal immigrants in five stash house raids.