EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents have discovered several hidden homes in the El Paso area, leading to the arrests of several migrants and U.S. citizens over the past five days.
On December 19, Ysleta Border Patrol officers responded to a call for help from Texas Department of Public Safety soldiers after stopping a vehicle on Interstate-10 near Horizon, in Texas. This vehicle stop by DPS soldiers led border patrol officers to meet two migrants and a US citizen driver. Further investigation by Ysleta Border Patrol agents resulted in the discovery of a hideout with five migrants inside in Clint, Texas. All migrants associated with these events were deported under Title 42. The driver of the vehicle will face contraband charges.
On December 17, Ysleta Border Patrol agents received information from the El Paso Sector Intelligence Operations Center regarding a possible hiding place in San Elizario, Texas. Officers used the information provided and met five migrants inside the residence. While this event was occurring, a person drove to the residence. Officers questioned the U.S. citizen driver who admitted to previously dropping migrants off there. The migrants were deported under Title 42 and the driver was taken into police custody.
On December 16, officers assigned to the anti-smuggling unit at El Paso station working with Homeland Security investigations arrested 30 migrants in two apartments in the same complex. Among the people we met were citizens of Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador and Guatemala. Additionally, a Mexican citizen was identified as the main smuggler in the event and was turned over to HSI to face contraband charges. The 30 migrants were deported to Mexico under Title 42.
Two hours later, information gathered during an arrest in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, led border patrol officers in Las Cruces to meet three migrants in a motel room. Two of the migrants were deported under Title 42 and the third migrant was returned for prosecution under 8 USC 1326, readmission after deportation.
On December 15, officers assigned to ASU at Ysleta Station assisted El Paso County Sheriff’s officers in executing two warrants stemming from a previous smuggling investigation. Officers arrived at a home in El Paso, Texas, and apprehended a woman and a man involved in smuggling several undocumented migrants to the United States on December 1.
“Party or not, transnational criminal organizations continue to exploit migrants,” said Gloria I. Chavez, chief patrol officer for the El Paso area. “We have an extraordinary collaboration between law enforcement partners in our region and we will continue to relentlessly target human smuggling and human trafficking. “
United States Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the US Border Patrol while remaining anonymous by calling 1-800-635-2509.