Migrant Smugglers Continue to Disregard Public Safety

Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol (RGV) agents disrupted five migrant smuggling attempts that resulted in 34 arrests.

On Feb 10, McAllen Border Patrol Station agents observed a Dodge Neon picking up several subjects in a well-known smuggling area south of Mission, Texas. When responding agents attempted to interdict, the driver led agents on a vehicle pursuit. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers responded to assist. The driver eventually came to a stop north of Mission, where multiple people were observed fleeing. A search of the immediate area resulted in the apprehension of one noncitizen. The driver was not located.

Shortly before sunrise on the same day, an RGV agent working near Raymondville, Texas, attempted to initiate an immigration inspection on a Chevrolet pickup truck. As the agent was about to turn on his emergency equipment, the truck drove through a ranch perimeter fence and the occupants bailed out of the vehicle. Agents searched the surrounding area and apprehended eight migrants unlawfully present in the U.S. The vehicle had fake paper plates and upon further investigation, it was reported stolen out of Houston, Texas.

Just after an hour later, RGV agents received information of a possible cloned work truck traveling north on U.S. Highway 77. Agents spotted a vehicle matching the information and attempted to conduct a vehicle stop. The driver led agents on a vehicle pursuit that ended shortly after driving through a ranch perimeter fence and the occupants bailed out. The vehicle caught fire and agents were able to extinguish the vehicle before it was completely engulfed and managed to contain the brush fire until firefighters arrived. Agents searched the area and apprehended eight migrants unlawfully in the U.S. from Mexico and Central America. The driver was not located.

Later that evening, RGV agents working near La Gloria, Texas observed a suspicious vehicles traveling north on F.M. 755. As the agent attempted to catch up to the vehicle near a curve, he temporary lost sight of the vehicle. As he back tracked, he observed a damaged ranch property fence and the suspect vehicle driving off-road through the ranch. A CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) helicopter responded to assist. Agents located the vehicle abandoned after it damaged another ranch fence. Eleven migrants were apprehended with the assistance of AMO. The driver was not located and the vehicle was reported stolen out of League City, Texas.

Just before midnight, a Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station agents observed several subjects loading into a Ford Expedition near the Rio Grande in Fronton, Texas. An agent encountered the vehicle and attempted to conduct a vehicle stop. The driver failed to yield, and a pursuit ensued. The vehicle was encountered in a neighborhood, where six migrants were apprehended nearby. The driver was not located.