Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents interdicted multiple human smuggling attempts leading to the arrest of five alleged human smugglers and 24 migrants. The arrests occurred between July 9-12 in southwestern Arizona and southeastern California.
The intercepts began Thursday evening when agents assigned to the Highway 78 interior immigration checkpoint encountered a group of migrants attempting to walk around the checkpoint. Agents arrested the group and learned they had illegally crossed the border from Mexico near Calexico, California on Wednesday, according to information obtained from Yuma Sector Border Patrol officials. The migrants said a human smuggler dropped them off before the checkpoint and would be picking them up on the other side.
The agents conducted an immigration interview, a medical screening, and a field background investigation. Officials identified the group as having come to the United States from Mexico. The six males and one female ranged in age from 23 to 41. Under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agents expelled the migrants to Mexico.
The next afternoon, agents assigned to Dome Valley stopped a Toyota Sienna on Interstate 8 near Welton, Arizona. The agents conducted an immigration interview and identified the driver (a 19-year-old male) and front-seat passenger (a 40-year-old female) as citizens of the United States, officials stated. The interview revealed the remaining five passengers to be Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States. The four females and one male ranged in age from 18-49. After screening, the agents expelled all five under Title 42 authority.
Saturday afternoon, Dome Valley agents stopped two separate smuggling attempts. The first involved the traffic stop of a Toyota Camry where agents found a male U.S. citizen attempting to smuggle a Mexican national. A second stop later in the afternoon involving a Ford Fusion attempting to circumvent the interior immigration checkpoint by driving through Dome Valley led to the discovery of four Mexican nationals being smuggled by an 18-year-old female U.S. citizen. The four male subjects ranged in age from 19 to 37. Agents expelled all five migrants under Title 42 authority following a medical screening and criminal background investigation.
The following day, agents stopped two more smuggling incidents. Early Sunday morning, agents assigned to the Highway 78 checkpoint observed a Chrysler van approaching for inspection. Agents identified the driver as an illegal immigrant, officials said, who claimed to have been living in the United States since 2005. They identified the passenger as an illegal alien who crossed the border the previous day. Both claimed to be traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Later that afternoon, Dome Valley agents stopped a Toyota Corolla and found five passengers who had illegally crossed the border from Mexico. Agents identified the migrants as four Mexican nationals and one Honduran. Agents arrested the driver, a 24-year-old female U.S. citizen, and expelled the migrants to Mexico under Title 42 authority.
“Under U.S. law, human smuggling is ‘the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation or illegal entry of a person or persons across an international border, in violation of one or more countries’ laws, either clandestinely or through deception, such as the use of fraudulent documents,'” Yuma Sector officials explained. “In these cases, the illegal aliens had already crossed the international boundary and were being transported in furtherance.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face