United States Border Patrol agents conducting traffic check operations at the Interstate 10 immigration checkpoint interdicted a tractor trailer smuggling scheme.
On September 16, 2021, agents conducting traffic check operations at the I-10 immigration checkpoint encountered a tractor trailer in the primary inspection lane. A non-intrusive K-9 inspection was performed on the vehicle, yielding a positive alert. The vehicle was then directed to the secondary inspection lane by agents. In the secondary inspection area, agents opened the trailer doors and observed multiple undocumented migrants in the cargo area. A total of 49 undocumented migrants were concealed in the trailer from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru.
“Checkpoint operations are vital to monitoring the egress of illegal activity into the United States,” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin stated. “Agents and their K-9 partners were able to positively identify a large smuggling scheme, saving multiple individuals from a potentially dangerous situation.”
The driver of the tractor trailer, a visa holder, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for prosecution. All undocumented migrants were medically evaluated and processed accordingly.
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is committed to combatting the exploitation of undocumented noncitizens by transnational criminal organizations” said Taekuk Cho, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the HSI El Paso Field Office. “In collaboration with our partners at the U.S. Border Patrol, HSI special agents will continue to identify, investigate and systematically dismantle these criminal networks that prey upon the most vulnerable.”