EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents strike a blow to human smuggling organizations in the month of September.
Last month’s activity included the discovery of at least seven stash houses, over 100 inadmissible individuals taken into custody in connection with the stash house discoveries, and the arrest of eight criminal smugglers. Those arrested included aliens from a variety of countries to include Ecuador, Cuba, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Agents collaborated with federal and state law enforcement agencies in Texas and New Mexico to rescue the individuals from harsh and less than humane conditions. The stash houses were located in the Fabens, San Elizario, El Paso and Chaparral communities.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, these arrests demonstrate the reckless and dangerous practices human smugglers use to place their human cargo and our border communities in harm’s way.
“The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t deterred human smuggling organizations from exploiting the youth and others in our communities and utilizing them to further their criminal activities,” stated El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “I am thankful to our border patrol agents and our law enforcement partners for their continued commitment in targeting these criminal organizations and rescuing human beings from these squalid conditions.”
It is important to note that an arrest or criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered evidence of guilt. Subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The stash house cases are only one element of the work Border Patrol Agents are performing. They also continue to apprehend alien and drug smugglers along the U.S./Mexico border. Some of those individuals have prior felony convictions and have been removed previously from the U.S. Checkpoint operations also continue to yield drug and human smugglers, and fugitive apprehensions as well.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol while remaining anonymous by calling 1-800-635-2509.
Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Follow us on Twitter at @USBPChiefEPT and @CBPWestTexas.