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CBP - U.S. Customs and Border Protection

10/02/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/02/2019 15:43

Diversity of Illegal Aliens Highlighted In Recent Smuggling Attempts

Last week's foiled smuggling attempts in New Mexico yield Chinese, Cubans, Ecuadoreans, and Salvadorans

LAS CRUCES, NM - Several U.S. Border Patrol incidents in New Mexico last week reveal the diversity of people from all over the world who are using the border with Mexico and its related human trafficking pipeline as a gateway to the United States. Often these lawbreakers also include American citizens who are either involved in human smuggling or have extensive criminal records.

On Wednesday, agents assigned to the Lordsburg and Las Cruces Stations foiled two human smuggling attempts. At approximately 5:00 a.m. agents, working near Lordsburg, attempted to stop a Buick Century with Arizona registration. The Buick refused to yield, driving another 10 miles before finally coming to a stop. A preliminary field investigation revealed that the driver was a U.S. citizen with four illegal aliens on board of Mexican nationality. The vehicle, driver and four illegal aliens were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.

At about 11:30 a.m. agents working the immigration checkpoint on Highway 185 north of Las Cruces interviewed the driver and passengers of a BMW sedan. Through training, experience, and interview skills, the agents determined that the driver and one of the passengers were U.S. citizens, conspiring to smuggle the other two passengers into the U.S. One of the passengers was from Cuba and the other was from Mexico. All four were taken into custody and referred for prosecution.

Later Wednesday evening, Border Patrol Agents from Santa Teresa Station responded to a call about several people climbing over the international fence in Sunland Park, New Mexico. The responding agents used tried-and-true tracking techniques to locate and apprehend five people hiding in the brush. All five readily admitted to being citizens of the People's Republic of China. They were transported to Santa Teresa Station for processing.

Finally, Thursday morning, agents working at the Highway 54 immigration checkpoint south of Alamogordo, New Mexico, asked immigration screening questions of the visible occupants of a white Chevy Silverado. After releasing the pickup, checkpoint agents received information from a concerned citizen about a possible smuggling scheme involving a truck matching the description of the Chevy. Agents followed the truck, which led them to other vehicles carrying a total of 10 illegal aliens from Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico.

'Incidents such as those detailed here, are a great example of the outstanding work the men and women of U.S. Border Patrol do each and every day,' said Interim El Paso Sector Chief Gloria Chavez. 'Through community engagement we further strengthen our border communities and make them safer every day.'

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 toll-free.

It is important to note that an arrest should not be considered evidence of guilt, and subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Please visit www.cbp.govto view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection. Follow us on Twitter at @CBPWestTexas.