MADERO, Texas — Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended three Chinese migrants and arrested an alleged human smuggler immediately after the migrants crossed the border from Mexico. The incident occurred as Breitbart News joined McAllen Station riverine agents on a patrol of the Rio Grande.
McAllen Station riverine agents took Breitbart News on a tour of the Rio Grande in one of the most active border crossing areas along the southwestern U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday. The agents operated open-air SAFE boats provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) McAllen Branch. The riverine units coordinate with land-based Border Patrol agents who operate cameras and other migrant detection devices along the river. The devices are placed to detect illegal border crossings and bring Border Patrol agents to targeted locations, CBP officials told Breitbart Texas.
While on the river patrol, riverine agents received a radio call from the control tower agent about a raft crossing the river just south of Madera, Texas. The patrol boats and ground-based agents quickly responded to the area. Shortly after the migrants crossed and offloaded, smugglers on the Mexican side of the river quickly pulled the raft back with a rope.
One of the boats, carrying Breitbart News Editor in Chief Alex Marlow and Breitbart Border/Cartel Chronicles Editor Brandon Darby put ashore at the point where the raft offloaded the migrants. Marlow and Darby followed the agents as they tracked the migrants northward and pushed them toward the levee road.
An alleged human smuggler met the migrants on the levee road as part of an apparent coordinated smuggling plan. The smuggler apparently took off toward the main roads and was quickly intercepted by Border Patrol agents and Mission Police Department officers.
The boat carrying this writer docked near the scene of the interdiction enabling us to observe the arrest of the alleged smuggler and processing of the migrants. Border Patrol agents told Breitbart News the migrants were Chinese nationals — two men and one woman. They identified the alleged smuggler as a U.S. citizen.
The agents arrested the alleged smuggler and seized the vehicle. They transported the migrants to the McAllen Central Processing Station where they will receive a health check and go through a background investigation, CBP officials stated.
Riverine agents told Breitbart News that Chinese migrants are frequently crossing the border in this sector. They stated Chinese nationals are among the most frequent nationality apprehended outside of Mexican and Central American migrants.