Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 68 migrants in four separate human smuggling stash house operations. The agents carried out the four interdictions on Thursday at various locations in Hidalgo and Starr Counties.
RGV agents teamed up with Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office deputies to investigate a report from the public that a residence in Alamo, Texas, was being utilized as a human smuggling stash house, according to information obtained from U.S. Border Patrol officials in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
The COVID pandemic has not slowed down human smuggling in the RGV.
— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) February 13, 2021
During the investigation, the agents found 18 illegal aliens, including a pregnant woman. The woman was reported to be in her seventh month of pregnancy, officials stated. Agents identified the 18 migrants as foreign nationals from Central America and Mexico.
A short time later, Rio Grande City police officers contacted Border Patrol agents about a location housing another group of migrants. The officers said they received an anonymous tip about a suspected stash house in a Rio Grande City residence. An investigation led to the apprehension of 12 more migrants — also from Central America and Mexico.
Later in the day, Roma, Texas, police officers contacted agents regarding yet another residence being utilized to harbor illegal aliens, officials stated. After obtaining consent to search the home, agents found 14 more migrants. The agents placed the 14 people under arrest for illegally entering the U.S.
The Starr County Sheriff’s Office contacted Border Patrol agents about yet another human smuggling stash house being operated in Rio Grande City. The agents and deputies responded and found 24 more migrants including one unaccompanied child, officials stated.
In total, the agents arrested 68 migrants including a seven-month pregnant female and an unaccompanied alien child, the report revealed.
Officials did not disclose if the migrants were expelled under Title 42 coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or if they were released into the community.
“Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor to the health of the citizens of our great nation,” officials concluded.