Coast Guard Helo Aids Texas Deputies’ Roundup of Migrants Smuggled on Train 130 Miles from Border

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter aircrew assists local law enforcement and Border Patrol in apprehending a group of migrants. (Photo: Nueces County Constable's Office Precinct 5)
Photo: Nueces County Constable's Office Precinct 5

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter aircrew helped deputies in South Texas round up a group of Central American migrants being smuggled into the U.S. The apprehensions took place near Robstown, Texas, approximately 130 miles north of the Texas-Mexico border.

It’s not unusual to see the United States Coast Guard patrolling coastal waters along the Texas Gulf Coast. On Friday however, the Coast Guard deployed an aircrew to help local law enforcement agents to thwart an ongoing human smuggling event near Robstown in Nueces County.

Local law enforcement apprehend a group of smuggled migrants near a South Texas rail line. (Photo: Nueces County Constable's Office Precinct 5)

Local law enforcement apprehend a group of smuggled migrants near a South Texas rail line. (Photo: Nueces County Constable’s Office Precinct 5)

Robstown police officers, Nueces County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and local county constables quickly apprehended eight Central American migrants in their initial search along a freight rail line in the area. The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, normally deployed to duty along the coastal waterways, aided in the speedy resolution of the event. Within two hours, police rounded up twenty more migrants.

The incident turned into a human trafficking event when two more migrants arrived in a blue Chevrolet SUV, to transport the larger group farther inland. Police arrested the two smugglers and impounded their vehicle.

Incidents involving human traffickers in the area have become a common occurrence.

On Sunday, local deputies stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation in the county and discovered five migrants being smuggled. In the latest incident, the driver and passenger were arrested for smuggling of persons and possession of cocaine and methamphetamine.

One of the two smugglers arrested was accompanied by a 13-year-old daughter. The child was turned over to state child protection services personnel. As reported by Breitbart Texas, the impacts of human trafficking are being felt miles from the border as the volume of migrant trafficking is overwhelming authorities in the border region.

As Border Patrol agents are overwhelmed with processing and caring for thousands of migrants in their custody, much of the work in securing the nation’s borders is being passed along to state and local law enforcement authorities.

As the crisis worsens, DHS called upon the Coast Guard to move from their traditional mission and assist CBP and ICE in transporting migrants from the immediate border area to other locations for processing and in some cases release into the United States. In September, U.S. Coast Guard aircraft were deployed to Del Rio, Texas to assist in moving mostly Haitian migrants from a makeshift detention camp under the city’s international bridge.

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.

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