WESLACO, Texas — A sheriff in South Texas told former President Donald Trump his county saw a 300 percent increase in the number of migrant deaths this month over last year. The Brooks County Sheriff told the former president that his deputies recovered 16 deceased migrants in June.
“We are 70 miles north of the river and have one of the busiest checkpoints there are in the southwest corridor,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told President Trump during a briefing Weslaco, Texas, with Governor Greg Abbott. “In June 2020, we had four body recoveries. In June 2021, we had 16 bodies recovered — a 300 percent increase.”
Brooks County is located about 70 miles north of the Texas border with Mexico. There is a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint located on U.S. Highway 281 — right in the middle of Brooks County. Human smugglers drop off migrants south of the Falfurrias Checkpoint and try to march them around the checkpoint to other smugglers waiting north of the checkpoint.
When migrants cannot keep up, get injured, or suffer heat exhaustion or dehydration, the smugglers simply leave the migrants behind to die, Sheriff Martinez previously told Breitbart Texas.
Over four days, Brooks County deputies worked with Border Patrol agents to recover the bodies of seven bodies, Martinez told the former president.
“Brooks County has seen a 185 percent increase in operations,” the sheriff said regarding interactions with lost migrants and other human smuggling-related activities. He said they experienced a 110 percent increase in “gotaways” in the county and a 250 percent increase in smuggling cases. Finally, he reported a 238 percent increase in sexual assaults of migrants being smuggled.
“That’s another issue that we deal with sexual assault, rape cases that occur within the brush,” Sheriff Martinez said. The sheriff also reported significant property damage to ranches in Brooks County where smugglers cut down fences and destroy property as they move through the area. The damaged fences frequently lead to the release of cattle creating a danger to the public on the roadways in the county.
Martinez also said they are still seeing a lot of migrants that test positive for COVID-19 when apprehended in his county.
“COVID is still out there, very much alive,” Martinez told President Trump. “Okay, so all these getaways, all these other people are coming in that being tested. We don’t know which direction to go in going into the states. it’s going to harm the United States. It’s going to harm our country so we need to be careful.”
So are this year, Brooks County Deputies and Falfurrias Station Border Patrol agents recovered the bodies or skeletal remains of nearly 50 migrants. This compares to 34 deaths for the entire year of 2020.
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
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.