CBP - U.S. Customs and Border Protection

01/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/21/2021 15:40

Laredo Sector Border Patrol Agents’ Due Diligence Shuts Down Stash House

LAREDO, TEXAS - Working in unison, agents with the Laredo Sector Horse Patrol Unit (HPU) and Laredo South Station (LRS) shut down a stash house in Rio Bravo, Texas.

The incident occurred during the late afternoon of January 20, when HPU agents responded to a smuggling attempt near a ranch south of the city. Agents tracked a group of individuals to Espejo Molina Road where they observed the group getting into a black minivan. HPU alerted agents from LRS about the suspicious vehicle that began to travel on Orquidia Street.

Agents followed the vehicle to an abandoned residence and discovered 30 individuals including the brush guide that had led them as they traveled into the country. None of the individuals were wearing any personal protective equipment (PPE) when encountered. All of the individuals were provided PPE, medically screened, and taken into custody pending further investigation. They were determined to be illegally in the United States and from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak said, 'We continue to encounter stash houses with large numbers of illegal aliens in residential neighborhoods and in close proximity to other homes and families. As residents throughout our area limit social gatherings and sacrifice to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we see smugglers and these aliens totally disregard globally recognized safety practices, putting themselves and others at risk.'

Despite a noted increase in COVID-19 infections among detainees, the smuggling and housing of large groups of individuals in stash houses without PPE not only endangers the people being smuggled, but the safety of our Nation. The Laredo Sector is made up of agents who partner each other to meet the agency's Enduring Mission Priorities of countering terrorism, combatting transnational crime, securing the border, and facilitating lawful trade and travel while protecting revenue.

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.