Migrants Smuggled Inside Water Tote Encountered on Highway

Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol (RGV) agents rescued five migrants trapped inside a water container following a failed smuggling attempt.  In addition, agents encountered a large group of 165 migrants in Hidalgo, Texas.

RGV agents working near San Manuel, Texas, observed a Ford F150 transporting a water tote on U.S. Highway 281. Agents attempted to conduct an immigration inspection on the occupants of the vehicle.  The driver failed to yield to the agent’s service unit and a vehicle pursuit ensued.  The driver drove the truck through a property fence before coming to a stop. The driver and several occupants were observed absconding into the brush. Agents encountered two subjects under a blanket in the bed of the truck and five more inside the water tank. Agents had to cut straps and remove metal bars encompassing the tank to extract the migrants from inside.  The driver and occupants that absconded into the brush were not located.

Shortly after, Brownsville Border Patrol Station agents received an anonymous tip from a concerned citizen regarding a possible smuggling attempt in Brownsville, Texas. Agents responded to the area and encountered two vehicles suspected of being involved in the smuggling attempt. Agents attempted to perform a vehicle stop on one of the vehicles, a tan Ford F150. The driver of the truck failed to yield, and a short vehicle pursuit ensued.  Agents observed the driver and three occupants exit the vehicle prior to coming to a complete stop.  An agent exited his vehicle and took control of the truck.  The agent safely stopped the vehicle and apprehended the two occupants inside.  Nearby agents apprehended three migrants that absconded from the vehicle. Agents were unable to locate the driver or the second suspect vehicle.