Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents patrolling in Brooks County, Texas, disrupted a human smuggling group attempting to move 17 migrants around the Falfurrias immigration checkpoint. Brooks County is the deadliest in Texas and one of the worst in the nation.
Falfurrias Station Border Patrol agents received word from U.S. Customs and Border Protection assets about a possible group of migrants attempting to circumvent the immigration checkpoint located in the middle of Brooks County — about 80 miles from the Texas-Mexico border. The agents responded and began a search of the vast ranchlands surrounding the checkpoint, according to Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol officials.
Utilizing ATVs, agents began a search and started tracking footprints in the soft sand that makes up the soil on South Texas ranches. The agents eventually caught up with the group who were attempting to hide in the mesquite and other brush, officials reported. While searching the area, the agents also discovered three steel ladders used by the smugglers to help move through the area.
Agents took the 17 migrants into custody and provided a medical screening evaluation before transporting them to the Falfurrias Station. An immigration interview determined the migrants came to the U.S. from El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua, officials reported.
CBP officials stated the migrants will be processed according to Rio Grande Valley Sector guidelines.
Migrants apprehended in Brooks County are fortunate to escape the dangers in what has become one of the deadliest in the U.S. for smuggled migrants. During 2018, the bodies or skeletal remains of 50 migrants were found by Border Patrol agents and Brooks County Sheriff’s Office deputies. During the first two months of this year, the death toll stands at six.
On the morning of February 20, Brooks County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Biannca Mora received word that skeletal remains of a deceased migrant had been found on a ranch located northwest of the Border Patrol checkpoint. This is a well-known migrant pickup area where the migrants have completed their trip around the checkpoint.
Upon arrival on the ranch, Deputy Mora observed the scattered skeletal remains of an unidentified migrant. The remains consisted of a skull, pieces of broken fibulae and half a pelvis. The deputy gathered the remains and a justice of the peace made the statutory death pronouncement. The remains will be transported to the Webb County Medical Examiner’s Office where an attempt to identify the migrant will be made. No personal effects were found at the scene.
So far this year, at least 29 migrants have been found dead while, or shortly after illegally crossing the border from Mexico, according to the International Organization for Migrants’ Missing Migrants Project. At least 25 have died along or near the Texas border with Mexico.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face