A Kinney County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested an armed human smuggler as he attempted to sneak four illegal aliens into the U.S. interior. Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents also found another handgun near the scene of a second foiled human smuggling attempt.
Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials report an increase in human smugglers attempting to move their “cargo” into the U.S. interior after the migrants illegally cross the border from Mexico. Officials said the number of incidents where the smugglers are armed is also on the rise.
“Smugglers arming themselves with firearms is becoming a common trend,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement. “This poses a threat to not only our agents but the community and those being smuggled as well.”
A Kenney County Sheriff’s Office deputy called Border Patrol agents assigned to the Brackettville Station for assistance on October 27 after stopping a vehicle with four suspected illegal aliens on board, according to information provided by Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials. The agents conducted an immigration interview and determined four of the passengers had illegally entered the U.S.
During a search of the vehicle, the deputy found a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol in the driver’s side door pocket. The deputy arrested the driver and a passenger and seized the handgun and vehicle. The agents transported the four illegal aliens to the Brackettville Station for processing. Officials did not disclose the nationality of the four migrants.
One day earlier, Brackettville Station Border Patrol agents found a second handgun while searching the area of a disrupted human smuggling attempt. During a search of the area, the agents found a black backpack on the ground. A search of the backpack revealed a Glock 26 9mm pistol. Officials report the handgun was fully loaded. The agents transported the backpack and handgun to the station for processing. Officials did not disclose any additional information about the failed smuggling attempt.
“The number of smuggling cases is on the rise in Del Rio Sector,” officials stated. “Since the beginning of FY19, there have been at least 12 smuggling cases involving weapons, compared to five for FY18.” FY19 ended on September 30.