Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 74 migrants and their human smugglers following an incident involving two RV travel trailers. The agents teamed up with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to apprehend an additional vehicle involved in the attempt.
Sierra Blanca Station agents assigned to an interior immigration checkpoint in Interstate 10 observed a vehicle pulling a fifth-wheel travel trailer approaching for inspection. A Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the possible presence of drug or human cargo inside the trailer, according to information provided by Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents.
United States Border Patrol agents and @TXDPS encountered two vehicles pulling travel trailers attempting to smuggle 74 undocumented non-citizens. Two United States Citizens are being prosecuted for their role in the smuggling scheme. https://t.co/TK3V4pIxt8 pic.twitter.com/Nsb6AHAuWo
— Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin (@USBPChiefBBT) July 15, 2021
The agents directed the driver to pull the trailer to a secondary inspection station where non-intrusive imaging equipment revealed multiple migrants packed inside the trailer.
While the agents carried out the secondary inspection, a second vehicle towing another travel trailer pulled through the inspection station. When the agents discovered the contents of the first trailer, they contacted Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to carry out a traffic stop on the second vehicle.
A search of that vehicle revealed additional migrants being smuggled into the U.S. interior.
Agents arrested a total of 74 migrants who were illegally present in the United States, officials stated. They also detained three U.S. citizens connected to the failed smuggling operation. The two adults were placed into the custody of the Texas DPS troopers. The juvenile U.S. citizen was released.
Officials said the 74 migrants came to the U.S. from Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. The agents processed the migrants under Big Bend Sector guidelines.
“The coordination and collaboration between the agents and Texas Department of Public Safety resulted in multiple migrants being rescued from a very dangerous situation,” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin stated. “Transnational criminal organizations recruit United States Citizens to facilitate their smuggling schemes, they continue to place lives in danger with little regard for their safety and well-being.”
During May, the last month with available apprehension statistics from the Biden administration, Big Bend Sector agents experienced an increase of 704 percent over May 2020 apprehensions.