(JustPatriots.com)- Over four days last week, agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol arrested 156 migrants. These people were involved in smuggling incidents that were life-threatening.
Here is how the incident unfolded:
The agents were on duty at the Javier Vega, Jr. Immigration Checkpoint, which is located on U.S. Highway 77. A box truck approached the checkpoint for inspection. During this inspection, one of the K-9’s on duty alerted to a smell that was coming from the cargo area of the truck, which was locked.
The driver was guided to the secondary inspection area of the checkpoint, officials from the border patrol said. Once there, the padlock on the cargo area was removed, and agents searched around.
During their search, the agents saw several pallets of carboard boxes. Agents then found five people who were hiding between these pallets. The migrants were all identified as illegal immigrants who came from the Dominican Republic and Brazil.
Two days before this incident, agents at this same checkpoint saw a Ford pickup truck arriving. It was hauling a flatbed trailer. Once again, a K-9 alerted to an odor from the trailer. Officials say the odor detected means there could be either human cargo or drugs on board.
This driver also was led to the secondary inspection area, where agents found a compartment that was installed under the trailer. Boards were covering that compartment, which smugglers apparently put on in an after-market way.
When the agents removed these boards with the use of a drill that the driver had on him, they found 12 people locked inside. There was no way for these people to get out if they were abandoned by the driver, or if a crash had occurred.
All 12 of these people were identified as illegal immigrants who were citizens of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
The day before Thanksgiving, a trooper from the Texas Department of Public Safety reached out to Border Patrol for assistance. He had conducted a traffic stop close to the city of Palmview. The driver of that truck fled into the surrounding brush.
A search of the vehicle found five people inside, all of whom were in the country illegally. Agents searched the area, but could not find the driver of the vehicle.
Earlier in the week, a fourth incident regarding human smuggling occurred. Agents from the Rio Grande City Station, working with local law enforcement agents, conducted a welfare check on a house that was suspected of stashing humans.
Once agents entered the apartment, they found 38 people inside, four of whom were juveniles unaccompanied by their parents. Some of the migrants who were arrested said the smugglers had abused them. They hadn’t had anything to eat in three days either.
The smugglers were not found at the scene of the crime.
As border patrol officials said in a statement released last week:
“Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor to the health of the citizens of our great nation. The U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector will continue to safeguard the nation and community against these criminal elements.”