Human TraffickingNews

Law Enforcement Collaboration Leads to 34 Arrests in RGV

Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents interdicted three migrant smuggling events that resulted in 34 arrests.

On Dec. 22, Weslaco Border Patrol Station agents received information of a residence in Weslaco possibly being used to harbor illegal migrants. Agents along with Weslaco Police Department officers responded and encountered nine migrants from Mexico illegally present in the United States at the location. The migrants are all adults, with the exception of one unaccompanied child. Agents learned that group had recently arrived at the stash house. No caretaker was identified.

Also on Dec. 22, McAllen Border Patrol Station (MCS) agents responded to a vehicle leaving the Rio Grande near Hidalgo at a high rate of speed. Agents attempted to conduct a vehicle stop and the vehicle failed to yield. The driver led the agents on a vehicle pursuit to a shopping center on McColl and Ridge Road in McAllen. Helicopters from Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations and the Texas Department of Public Safety responded and worked in collaboration to relay traffic to ground agents. The vehicle stopped momentarily at the shopping center, were several occupants fled from the vehicle and were apprehended shortly after. The vehicle continued north and came to a stop under a highway overpass, where air units temporary lost visual. The suspected driver was apprehended in a nearby neighborhood and claimed to be a Mexican national. The driver and six Salvadoran nationals apprehended at the shopping center were transported to the station for processing. However, record checks on the driver revealed he is a 20-year-old United States Citizen.

Later that evening, MCS agents were involved in another similar incident, but this vehicle loaded migrants south of Mission. The driver and occupants fled from the vehicle near south Schuerbach Road. Agents apprehended the driver, a Honduran national, and 17 nationals from Central America and Mexico who were unlawfully in the U.S.