Federal agents teamed up in the El Paso-Juárez Metropolitan Border Area to disrupt cartel-connected human smuggling operations throughout the month of June. The operation led to the arrests of human smugglers, 117 illegal aliens, and the seizure of cash, vehicles, and drugs.
Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents and Border Patrol agents assigned to the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) carried out numerous operations against human smugglers in the El Paso-Juárez Metropolitan Border Area in a month-long effort to crack down on human smuggling. The BEST agents raided multiple human smuggling stash houses and arrested two U.S. citizens for human smuggling activities, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to vigorously pursue members of transnational criminal networks that exploit and endanger people they smuggle into our country,” Jack P. Staton, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso, said in a written statement. “These smugglers are driven by human greed and heartlessness. HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, such as Border Patrol, to maintain the integrity of our border and nation’s immigration laws.”
During the operation, agents arrested 42-year-old Elias Serrano and 25-year-old Jesus Briseno, both U.S. citizens, on charges of human smuggling officials reported. Serrano has previous convictions for aggravated stalking, kidnapping, possessing a deadly weapon, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Briseno also has a criminal history that includes convictions for escape from custody, possession of marijuana, assault causing bodily injury to a family member, and driving while intoxicated, officials said.
BEST agents arrested 117 illegal aliens during the month-long operation. Some of those arrested included aliens with criminal histories, connection to Mexican drug cartels, fraud, child endangerment, driving while intoxicated, and illegally re-entering the U.S. following removal.
The illegal aliens arrested in three stash house raids reportedly came to the U.S. from Mexico (93), Guatemala (12), Honduras (6), Brazil (3), and Peru (1), officials reported.
In addition to the arrests, agents also seized nine vehicles, three tractor-trailers, $20,000 in U.S. and Mexican currency, and more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana.
“This is a great example of the dedication and cooperation amongst area law enforcement agencies working towards the shared goals of securing our borders, protecting our local communities and our nation,” El Paso Sector Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem concluded.