Border Patrol officials say that a U.S. citizen arrested for human smuggling was released without consequences. Authorities released the suspect after prosecutors failed to file charges because the alleged human smuggler is a juvenile.
Border Patrol agents assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Sector’s (RGV) Weslaco Station responded to a call where witnesses said they saw several people being loaded into a Ford Expedition near Alamo, Texas. Agents found the vehicle and conducted an immigration inspection stop.
An inspection of the vehicle revealed 13 illegal immigrants, according to U.S. Border Patrol officials. Agents identified the driver as a U.S. citizen of juvenile age.
Agents release the juvenile after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas declined to prosecute the driver because of the person’s status as a juvenile.
“Juveniles will continue to fall victim and engage in illicit activity if their criminal acts go unpunished,” RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. said in a written statement. “Unfortunately, juveniles are vulnerable and easy targets to transnational criminal organizations.”
Human smuggling is big business in South Texas. Breitbart Texas has reported extensively on the rash of stash houses that Border Patrol officials have raided in the past few weeks.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector leads the nation in illegal border crossings, reports from CBP indicate. In March, officials noted a 203 percent increase in apprehensions along the southwestern border with Mexico. Nearly 61 percent of all border arrests occur in Texas, recent reports indicate.
From October 2017 through March 2018, RGV Sector agents arrested 9,729 illegal immigrants including 2,923 families and 1,406 unaccompanied minors.