Border Patrol agents assigned to the Falfurrias Checkpoint foiled a human smuggling attempt and discovered a member of the hyperviolent MS-13 gang. The smuggler’s cargo included eight illegal immigrants concealed in a pickup truck.
Agents assigned to the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint, located 80 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico Border, observed a Ford F-250 pickup truck approaching the control point. The agents referred the driver, a U.S. citizen, to a secondary inspection station after a Border Patrol K-9 agent alerted to the possible presence of drug or human cargo in the truck, according to Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol officials.
During the secondary inspection, agents uncovered eight illegal immigrants hiding under a cover. Agents arrested the migrants and the U.S. citizen driver for processing, officials stated.
Agents identified one of the migrants as a native of El Salvador. A biometric background investigation revealed the Salvadoran is a member of the transnational criminal gang known as MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha). Another migrant was identified as a 17-year-old unaccompanied minor.
The U.S. citizen driver will be turned over to federal investigators for possible prosecution related to human smuggling.
Officials said the gang member, the unaccompanied minor, and the other six migrants will be processed according to Rio Grande Valley Sector guidelines. They could face federal charges for immigration violations.
RGV Sector agents previously arrested another MS-13 member in late July at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint. Smugglers stashed the gang member in the trailer of an 18-wheeler along with 24 others–including one unaccompanied minor, Breitbart Texas reported.