Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Sector busted a Los Zetas-connected human stash house. In a separate incident, the agents seized more than $3 million in drugs.
Laredo Police Department officers contacted Border Patrol for assistance with a human smuggling stash house they discovered in the city on April 19. Agents arrived and discovered 56 illegal immigrants including men, women, and children, according to a statement provided to Breitbart Texas.
Officials said the migrants came to the U.S. from Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras. Border Patrol agents turned the 56 over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials for processing on immigration violations. ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents will head up the investigation into the stash house operation.
“The partnerships in Laredo between the United States Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Laredo Police Department continue to show results in disrupting criminal organizations from operating in South Texas,” Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta said in a written statement. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prosecute those responsible and prevent individuals from being subjected to deplorable conditions.”
In two separate incidents, Laredo Sector agents seized more than $3 million worth of methamphetamine. Both incidents occurred at the Interstate 35 checkpoint located between Laredo and San Antonio.
Checkpoint agents observed a black Pontiac approaching the primary inspection lane on April 19. A K-9 agent alerted on the vehicle for the possibility of narcotics being smuggled, officials stated. The agents referred the driver, a Mexican national, to a secondary inspection station where a search revealed several bottles and plastic bags containing liquid methamphetamine.
The agents arrested the Mexican nationals and seized the vehicle and drugs. All were turned over to agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for investigation. Officials estimated the value of the methamphetamine to be $2,944,000.
One day earlier, agents at the same checkpoint found 2.46 pounds of methamphetamine and 2.35 pounds of cocaine hidden under a seat on a Greyhound bus and strapped to the back of one of the passengers. The drugs appeared to belong to two U.S. citizens who agents arrested and turned over to DEA agents. Officials estimated the methamphetamine to be worth $81,522 and the cocaine to be worth $76,614.
The total of the drug seizures is estimated at over $3.1 million officials said.
Breitbart Texas’ Editor-in-Chief Brandon Darby previously reported that human and drug smuggling in this part of the Texas border with Mexico is controlled by Los Zetas cartel.
Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza, in his capacity as president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2455 told Breitbart Texas in a 2015 interview that the region surrounding Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Laredo, Texas, is controlled by Los Zetas and they ruthlessly deny competition in their territory.
(Disclosure: Breitbart Texas sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously.)