Increased immigration and security efforts by the Mexican government resulted in a decrease in illegal crossings in the United States, allowing El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents to return to capturing smugglers and previously deported criminal aliens.
El Paso Sector Border Patrol officials credited the Mexican government’s efforts in immigration enforcement with a 30 percent drop in migrant apprehensions from July to August. These efforts freed up Border Patrol agents to return to their primary border security operations, according to a statement obtained from El Paso Sector Border Patrol officials.
The apprehension of migrants fell from 11,595 in July to 8,077 in August, according to the August Southwest Border Migration Report released earlier this month. As numbers decreased, Border Patrol leaders in the El Paso Sector re-opened inland security checkpoints and moved agents from transporting, processing, feeding, and caring for migrants in temporary holding centers to their front-line border security missions.
This resulted in an increase in drug seizures and criminal apprehensions along the West Texas and New Mexico borders with Mexico by El Paso Sector agents, officials stated.
Agents assigned to the Alamogordo Station’s Highway 54 Immigration Checkpoint on September 12 found three bundles of heroin in a vehicle attempting to pass through the checkpoint. The agents seized the nine pounds of heroin and arrested the driver and passenger. Agents turned the suspects and the drugs over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for investigation, El Paso Sector officials reported.
That same day, agents assigned to the Fort Hancock Station received a tip from a citizen about possible illegal alien activity. The agents responded to the area and apprehended a U.S. citizen wanted for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Austin, Texas. After learning the man also has an extensive criminal history that includes a conviction for Sexual Assault, the agents arrested him and turned him over to Hudspeth County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office deputies for transfer to Travis County.
The following day, aerial surveillance assets patrolling the Mexican border reported two people illegally crossing the border carrying backpacks. Clint Border Patrol Station agents responded and found the two illegal border crossers near the Tornillo Port of Entry. Agents found the suspects with bundles containing 93 pounds of marijuana. The agents arrested the subjects and turned them and the marijuana over to the DEA.
Agents assigned to the Alamogordo Station’s Highway 54 Checkpoint on September 16 inspected a vehicle after a K-9 agent alerted to an odor it is trained to detect, officials reported. The inspection uncovered 54 pounds of marijuana. The agents turned the suspects and the drugs over to the Otero County Narcotics Enforcement Unit, the press release stated.
Later that day, agents assigned to the Santa Teresa Station carried out a background investigation on a migrant in custody. The agents discovered that a 57-year-old Mexican national has a conviction for Aggravated Sexual Assault from 1983 and another for Sexual Assault with a Child from 2002, officials stated. Immigration officers deported the criminal alien to Mexico in 2015. The Mexican man is now being held pending prosecution for illegal re-entry after removal as a convicted child sex offender.
“These incidents demonstrate how effective our skilled U.S. Border Patrol agents are when focused on the mission of National Security, El Paso Sector Interim Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez said in a written statement. “With this temporary reduction of migration flow at the border, our Agents are adding consequences to those involved in criminal activity, resulting in increased interdictions of people being smuggled, detention of criminals, and seizure of narcotics.”