Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents teamed up with a CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrew and the Texas Department of Public Safety to stop two human smuggling events. The traffic stops led to the arrest of 11 illegal immigrants and the seizure of two smuggling vehicles.
McAllen Station Border Patrol agents received a tip on the afternoon of October 31 about a white SUV picking up a group of migrants near a well-known human smuggling area near Mission, Texas. Agents responded to the area and requested assistance from an AMO helicopter aircrew in locating the vehicle, according to information provided this week by Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol officials.
The AMO helicopter aircrew quickly spotted the white SUV traveling north on Schuerbach Road. The aircrew coordinated responding ground units. A short time later, the occupants of the vehicle bailed out and attempted to flee into the brush. McAllen Station agents arrived on the scene and conducted a search that led to the arrest of nine illegal immigrants.
Later that day, McAllen Station agents received another tip about another SUV picking up a group of migrants in the same area as the earlier smuggling attempt. Responding Border Patrol agents requested assistance from Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in locating the SUV.
A DPS trooper responded that he found the vehicle and would be attempting to initiate a traffic stop. Officials said the driver of the SUV brought the vehicle to an abrupt stop and the occupants bailed out and fled into the brush in an apparent attempt to avoid apprehension.
Border Patrol agents arrived and began a search of the area. They successfully found two illegal immigrants.
Officials did not disclose the nationality of the 11 migrants placed in custody for immigration violations. Nor did they disclose the arrest of any human smugglers in these cases.
During Fiscal Year 2019, the Rio Grande Valley Sector led the nation in the arrest of migrants who illegally crossed the border between ports of entry. Approximately 40 percent of all southwest border sector migrant apprehensions occurred in this sector, according to the 2019 Southwest Border Migration Report.
Of the 339,135 migrants apprehended, officials report 211,631 as being migrant families, 34,523 as unaccompanied minors, and 92,981 as single adults.