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Smuggling attempts disrupted in El Paso Sector

EL PASO, Texas – El Paso Sector U.S. Border Patrol Agents disrupt numerous human smuggling schemes this week including stash houses.

El Paso Sector agents have disrupted 56 human smuggling events within the last seven days alone leading to more than 300 smuggled migrants. In addition, since FY2023 began, agents have discovered 67 stash houses with over 874 migrants intercepted. 

 On Feb. 5, agents assigned to the Santa Teresa Station Anti-Smuggling Unit (ASU) disrupted a smuggling scheme encountering 26 smuggled migrants crammed inside two SUV’s. Agents observed multiple individuals jumping into the vehicles on New Mexico Highway 9.  Agents subsequently performed an immigration stop on both vehicles locating 12 migrants inside a Chevrolet Avalanche and 14 inside a Chevrolet Uplander. All migrants from Mexico and El Salvador including five unaccompanied juveniles from Mexico were medically evaluated and process accordingly. The two U.S. Citizen drivers will face prosecution under 8 USC 1324 (Conspiracy to Transport).

 On Feb. 7, agents assigned to the Las Cruces Border Patrol Station ASU along with Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Agents encountered 52 smuggled migrants inside two mobile homes. Agents initially received information about a possible stash located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Agents subsequently located 52 migrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Ecuador inside the small homes. All migrants were found in good health despite being housed in deplorable conditions. All migrants were adults and processed accordingly while two individuals from Mexico and Venezuela will face prosecution under 8 USC 1324 (Conspiracy to Transport).

On Feb. 8, Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Las Cruces Station ASU along with New Mexico State Police encountered 17 smuggled migrants inside a local motel being utilized as a stash house. Agents received information from a previous smuggling event that led them to the motel in question. When agents arrived, they encountered seven migrants in one room and 10 additional migrants in a second room on the property. All migrants from Mexico and El Salvador including an unaccompanied juvenile from Mexico were found in good health and transported to the station for processing.

Later that same day, agents assigned to the Ysleta Border Patrol Station ASU encountered 25 migrants inside a stash house along with narcotics. Agents initially received information from HSI regarding a possible stash house near North Loop Dr and Hawkins Blvd. When agents arrived at the property, they observed 13 migrants on the premises with another 12 migrants located inside the house. Agents discovered 145.6 grams of fentanyl pills (30 pills), 25.9 grams of crystal meth, 26.7 grams of cocaine, 82.3 grams of an unknown substance, and other paraphernalia. All migrants from Guatemala and Mexico including an unaccompanied juvenile from Mexico, were found in good health, and transported for processing.    

“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 Peter Jaquez. “I am grateful for our law enforcement partnerships at the state, local and federal level. This alliance of law enforcement partners is vital in combating these dangerous criminal organizations.”

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.