Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended a human smuggler attempting to bring 22 migrants across the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, Texas.
Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) agents teamed up on June 12 with Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents and a National Guard Special Operations Group to apprehend a group of 23 people crossing the Rio Grande illegally near Eagle Pass. The team observed a raft loaded with migrants crossing the river and closed in to make the arrest, according to a statement received from Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials.
The group consisted of 22 Honduran family units, including small children, and a human smuggler who operated the raft, officials stated. Officials identified all 23 as illegal aliens. The agents transported the migrants to the Eagle Pass South Station for identification and processing.
Officials said the smuggler has an extensive history of immigration violations and was deported in April 2008. He is being charged with a violation of 8 USC § 1324 – alien smuggling, officials reported. If convicted, the illegal alien could face up to 10 years in prison. He could also face a charge of illegal re-entry after deportation. If charged and convicted on that offense, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.
“Smuggling organizations remain active in our area and continue to exploit the ongoing humanitarian crisis along our borders,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement. “We will use all available resources to prosecute anyone caught engaging in human smuggling activity within the Del Rio Sector.”
All migrants will undergo a biometric investigation to determine any history of criminal violations, immigration violations, or gang affiliation. If fraudulent family claims are suspected, Homeland Security Investigations special agents are available to evaluate family claims.