CBP - U.S. Customs and Border Protection

11/20/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/20/2020 17:25

Attempt to Smuggle People in Furniture and Appliances Discovered at Checkpoint

LAREDO, Texas - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the checkpoint on U.S. Highway 83 discovered a human smuggling attempt in which people were being concealed in furniture and appliances north of Laredo.

The incident occurred on the evening of November 19, when a Suburban towing a utility trailer loaded with furniture and appliances approached the checkpoint. The vehicle was referred to secondary inspection following an alert from a service canine. Upon examining the items on the trailer, agents discovered 13 individuals hidden among the varied furniture items, mattresses, and home appliances. They were immediately medically screened. None were wearing personal protective equipment. They were determined to be Mexican nationals illegally in the United States. They were placed under arrest along with the U.S. citizen driver pending further investigation. The vehicle and trailer were seized by Border Patrol.

This incident again demonstrates the lack of regard smugglers have for the safety of the people they exploit for profit. The unsafe manner in which these individuals were being transported is despicable. The agents of the Laredo Sector will continue to work diligently targeting human smugglers who value monetary gain over human lives.

The agency's strategic objectives focus on the mission of disrupting criminal networks by developing and training a dedicated workforce. The agency also focuses on the future of combatting crime by enhancing data and analytical technologies that will improve the detection and prevention of illegal activity. We ask our communities to take a stand with us in protecting our nation against criminal organizations. Together we can and will make our homeland safer.

To report suspicious activity such as alien and/or drug smuggling, download the 'USBP Laredo Sector' App or contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free at 1-800-343-1994. If you see something, please say something. You can also follow us on our social media platforms on Twitter and Instagram @usbpchieflrt and @usbpdepchieflrt and on Facebook at US Border Patrol Laredo Sector.