Two U.S. Citizens Arrested After 13 Apprehended in Human Smuggling Bust
Sierra Blanca, TX – This week Border Patrol Agents disrupted a human smuggling operation and apprehended 13 people hidden inside the sleeper cabin of a tractor-trailer.
On October 22, at approximately 4:30 a.m., agents were conducting an immigration inspection on the driver of a tractor-trailer at the Sierra Blanca Checkpoint, when a canine alerted to the truck.
Officials reported that during the course of a secondary inspection agents discovered 13 individuals attempting to conceal themselves inside the sleeper of the truck.
A subsequent investigation determined that all of the subjects were illegally present in the United States and were citizens of Ecuador, Mexico, and Honduras.
All of those being smuggled were processed according to applicable immigration laws, authorities said.
The case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso, Texas.
The truck driver and passenger were determined to be United States citizens and are being charged with alien smuggling, a felony, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“This smuggling attempt reflects what little regard for life these human smugglers have,” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak said. “Our agents’ vigilance, training, and experience were vital in detecting and apprehending these individuals and prosecuting the smuggler.”
More About Big Bend Sector
Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents patrol 517 miles of the southwest border that extends from Sierra Blanca, Texas to Sanderson, Texas.
The Sierra Blanca Station area of responsibility consists of more than half of Hudspeth County or about 2500 square miles.
The station is responsible for 73 border miles between the U.S. and Mexico.
More than 10,000 vehicles travel through the Sierra Blanca checkpoint on a daily basis.
Photos courtesy of CBP
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