Smuggling attempts disrupted in El Paso Sector

El Paso Sector US CBP agents disrupted numerous human smuggling schemes this week and arrested nine individuals with criminal histories.

In the last seven days alone, El Paso Sector agents have disrupted 23 human smuggling events leading to more than 104 smuggled migrants apprehended and the arrest of nine individuals with criminal backgrounds. 

On Jan. 5, agents assigned to the El Paso Station Anti-Smuggling Unit (ASU) disrupted a smuggling scheme encountering six smuggled migrants inside a SUV. Agents observed multiple individuals emerging from a storm drain near the Azcarate Park and then jumping into a vehicle. Agents subsequently performed an immigration stop locating the migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador, including one unaccompanied juvenile from Mexico. All migrants were medically evaluated and processed under Title 8 authority. The driver will face prosecution under 8 USC 1324 (Conspiracy to Transport), five subjects will face prosecution under 8 USC 1325 (Illegal Entry) and one individual under 8 USC 1326 (Reentry after Deportation). 

On Jan. 7, agents assigned to the El Paso Human Intelligence Unit secured the prosecution of a national from Nicaragua who entered the country illegally after being deported. The 52-year-old male was found amongst a group of 14 migrants who crossed the border illegally. An immigration background investigation revealed that he was convicted for Aggravated Battery for Controlled Substance Trafficking in 2001 in the State of Florida. The individual will face prosecution under 8 USC 1326 (Reentry after Deportation).

The U.S. Border Patrol continues to enforce U.S. immigration law and applies consequences to those who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States. The U.S. Border Patrol processes people found at the border who have crossed the border illegally between the ports of entry using Title 8 authority, which carries significant consequences, including barring people from re-entry who are removed for a minimum period of five years.

These consequences include placing individuals in expedited removal proceedings, allowing the U.S. Border Patrol to quickly repatriate individuals who have no legal basis to remain in the United States and referring criminal prosecution for migrants seeking to evade apprehension, repeat offenders, criminal histories and/or those involved in smuggling efforts.

“El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents continue to successfully disrupt human smuggling schemes and the illicit operations of transnational criminal organizations,” said El Paso Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Scott Good. “Migrants should not listen to the lies of smugglers and make the dangerous journey, only to be turned back. When migrants cross the border illegally, they put their lives in danger.”