Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 35 (I-35) checkpoint, north of Laredo, Texas intercepted two human smuggling attempts in commercial vehicles within a day of each other. Within the smuggled subjects, a convicted sex offender was apprehended.
One of the incidents occurred during the early evening of February 5, when a tractor-trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint. During an immigration inspection of the driver, a Service canine alerted to the trailer. At secondary inspection, agents discovered concealed individuals inside the trailer. They were determined to be illegally present in the United States from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Honduras.
The second incident occurred the next evening, when another tractor-trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint. A non-intrusive scan of the trailer revealed multiple individuals inside. They were determined to be illegally present in the United States from the countries of Mexico and Guatemala.
In both events, 138 individuals and the drivers, both U.S. citizens, were placed under arrest pending further investigation. U.S. Border Patrol seized the tractors and trailers.
During the screening of the arrested subjects, record checks revealed that Juan Castro-Castro, a 41-year old Mexican national, had been arrested in 2001 and convicted for Sexual Assault, Aggravated Assault with a Weapon in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Castro-Castro is being held by the U.S. Border Patrol pending prosecution of his immigration violations. He will be remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.
All subjects were medically evaluated for their safety and none required medical attention. Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, none of the individuals were wearing any personal protective equipment (PPE).
The men and women of the Laredo Sector continue to carry out the U.S. Border Patrol’s mission of protecting the American people, safeguarding our borders, and enhancing the Nation’s economic prosperity.