U.S. Border Patrol agents recently apprehended 111 people during three human smuggling attempts involving commercial trailers north of Laredo, Texas.
On Monday, border patrol agents assigned to the Laredo North Station encountered a tractor-trailer approaching a federal checkpoint on Interstate 35. Agents discovered 44 people in the trailer.
A second smuggling operation was foiled just moments after the first on Monday. Agents stopped a commercial tractor hauling a tanker on an I-35 access road. They found 43 people inside the tanker.
On Tuesday, agents found an additional 24 individuals in a tractor-trailer at the I-35 checkpoint for an immigration inspection.
All the individuals were determined to be in the U.S. illegally. They were placed under arrest pending further investigation by Homeland Security Investigations. U.S. Border Patrol seized all the vehicles.
A smuggling case involving people hiding in a freight train occurred last Friday around 50 miles east of Laredo. The train was heading east toward the Texas coast.
Agents assigned to the Border Patrol’s Hebbronville Station were checking the train when they discovered one of the container’s seals had been broken.
Agents found 16 people in the train container. All were taken into custody by the Border Patrol pending investigation.
Officials said encounters with unauthorized migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border have been surging in recent months. In January and February, almost 179,000 people have been apprehended at the border.
“In Feb. 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered 100,441 persons attempting entry along the Southwest border. This total represented a 28% increase over Jan. 2021, when 78,442 attempted entry,” CBP announced Wednesday. “The number of encounters at the border has been rising since April 2020 due to ongoing violence, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty in the northern triangle countries of Central America.”
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