U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped a large human smuggling scheme involving a tractor-trailer at a checkpoint near Laredo, Texas.
The incident occurred on the evening of June 29, 2020 when a white tractor hauling a white trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint. Following an immigration inspection of the driver, a non-intrusive scan of the tractor-trailer detected additional individuals being transported inside the trailer.
The driver attempted to exit the checkpoint, but was stopped by agents working the secondary inspection area. Upon searching the trailer, agents discovered 66 individuals who were determined to be in the United States illegally from the countries of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Brazil.
All individuals, including the U.S. citizen driver, were taken into custody. The case was turned over to Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation and prosecution. The tractor and trailer were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Despite the ongoing international COVID-19 pandemic, smugglers endanger the lives of individuals they transport and put at risk the health and safety of America. U.S. Border Patrol agents strive to prevent the flow of illegal immigration and slow the spread of COVID-19.