Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended an allegedly armed human smuggler during a human smuggling attempt. Del Rio Sector agents have observed an increasing trend in armed human smugglers.
Agents assigned to the Brackettville Border Patrol Station observed a 2019 Nissan SUV approaching the immigration checkpoint for inspection on February 12. The agents referred the driver to a secondary inspection station for further questioning.
During the immigration inspection, agents determined the five passengers in the vehicle were illegal aliens, according to information provided to Breitbart Texas by Del Rio Sector officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The agent determined the five migrants came to the U.S. from Ecuador.
Agents arrested the driver, a 21-year-old U.S. citizen for attempting to smuggle five illegal aliens further into the U.S. interior, officials stated. Agents carried out a search of the vehicle and found a 9mm Taurus pistol hidden under the driver’s seat.
“Our agents are encountering armed smugglers now more than ever before,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement, “These are dangerous criminals who continue to show little regard for human life.”
If convicted on the human smuggling charge, 8 USC 1324, the suspect could face up to ten years in federal prison. The Ecuadoran migrants will be processed under CBP guidelines, officials stated.
Earlier this month, Comstock Station Border Patrol agents arrested a Mexican national who was found illegally in the U.S., Breitbart Texas reported. During a search of the subject, the agents say they found a loaded .380 pistol. The agents questioned the man and learned he had stolen the pistol from a nearby ranch, according to information obtained from Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials.
In January, Del Rio Sector agents found an armed human smuggler at an interior checkpoint near Eagle Pass, Texas. Officials identified the driver as a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen. They also identified the passenger as a 21-year-old male U.S. citizen. Both accused smugglers are reported to be from Crystal City, Texas. A search of the vehicle uncovered a loaded .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol concealed under the driver’s seat, Breitbart Texas reported.
In early November, Brackettville Station agents arrested a 46-year-old twice deported Honduran man on a ranch frequently utilized by human smugglers to circumvent a nearby immigration checkpoint. A search of the area uncovered a backpack belonging to the Honduran national. Agents found a .22 caliber revolver inside the backpack.