Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents disrupted a series of human smuggling operations in the past week. The incidents included smugglers using a tractor-trailer, furniture trucks, and a motel room as a makeshift stash house.
Border Patrol agents assigned to the Laredo North Station interdicted a human smuggling operation on Sunday that resulted in the arrest of 14 illegal immigrants and two U.S. citizens suspected of human smuggling, according to Laredo Sector officials.
The agents referred the tractor-trailer to a secondary inspection station after a K-9 agent alerted to the possible presence of drugs or human cargo in the tractor. Agents carried out an inspection of the truck’s cab and found 14 illegal immigrants hiding in the back. A search also uncovered a small amount of marijuana and a loaded handgun, officials stated.
“The vigilance of the men and women of the United States Border Patrol in disrupting this human smuggling attempt attests to our commitment in keeping America and its communities safe,” Laredo Sector Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Anthony S. Good said in a written statement.
The agents arrested the migrants and the two U.S. citizens for immigration and human smuggling violations.
The 14 came to the U.S. from Guatemala and Mexico, officials stated.
In a second human smuggling operation, agents referred two furniture moving trucks to a secondary inspections station on Sunday. The two trucks arrived separately at the checkpoint after K-9 agents alerted to contraband.
During the inspection of the two trucks, agents found a total of 28 illegal immigrants hiding in the locked cargo areas of the trucks. Agents determined the passengers were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
Agents arrested both of the drivers, U.S. citizens, and seized the trucks. The illegal immigrants will be processed for immigration violations, officials stated. Agents seized both trucks that were utilized in the operation.
“Human smugglers have no regard for safety, at many times placing individuals in life-threatening situations,” Chief Good stated.
One day earlier, Laredo South Station agents teamed up with Laredo Police Department officers to raid a motel room in Laredo after receiving information about the room being utilized as a makeshift stash house.
Upon entry, the agents found eight illegal immigrants packed in the room. Agents learned the migrants came to the U.S. from Guatemala and Mexico, officials said. The agents said the migrants appeared to be in good health.