14 Human Smugglers, 26 Migrants Arrested near Texas Border

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents find a migrant locked in a pickup truck tool box in South Texas. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents arrested 14 human smugglers and 26 migrants at interior immigration checkpoints and on roving patrols near the Texas border with Mexico.

Agents apprehended 26 migrants and arrested 14 human smugglers in 10 separate human smuggling incidents over the weekend, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials said on Wednesday evening. In at least one incident, a migrant was placed in a life-threatening situation by being locked in a pickup truck toolbox.

“Many lives have been lost in horrible conditions caused by smugglers locking immigrants in toolboxes, car trunks, and tractor-trailers,” Del Rio Sector Patrol Agent in Charge Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement. “With temperatures over 100 degrees and no way to escape, this could have ended tragically.”

The Del Rio Sector operates multiple interior checkpoints that are designed to interdict the smuggling of migrants and drugs into the U.S. interior. In addition, agents operate roving patrols on the highways and around ranches where migrants are known to drop off migrants to attempt to circumvent the checkpoints. These activities led to the interdiction of ten separate human smuggling incidents over the weekend, officials stated. All of the arrests over the weekend involved migrants and smugglers in vehicles.

With one month to go in this fiscal year, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 53,000 illegal immigrants, according to the Southwest Border Migration Report for August. This is a nearly 250 percent increase over the previous fiscal year’s total of 15,833.

More than 30,000 of the apprehensions this fiscal year were in the category of Family Unit Aliens. This number is up more than 1,102 percent over the same period in FY2018, the report states. Unaccompanied Alien Children also increased over the last year by 174 percent with 3,314 minors being apprehended by Border Patrol agents in this sector.

Del Rio Sector officials report that agents have rescued nearly 500 migrants so far this fiscal year — more than 4,200 nationally. In all of Fiscal Year 2018, Del Rio Sector agents carried out only 125 rescues. Nationally, that number stands at 3,661.

So far this year, more than 270 migrants died while or shortly after crossing the U.S. border with Mexico, according to the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrant Project. About two-thirds of those deaths occurred in Texas — more than 20 in the Del Rio Sector.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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