Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents intercepted two human smuggling attempts involving vacuum tanker trucks at the U.S. Highway 59 immigration checkpoint, west of Freer, Texas.
The first incident happened at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 27, 2021 when a vacuum tanker truck approached the Border Patrol checkpoint. The driver was referred to secondary inspection after a service canine alerted to the vehicle during an immigration inspection of the driver.
While searching the tanker, agents found nearly 30 undocumented individuals inside the back tank from the countries of Mexico and El Salvador.
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Three days later on Nov. 30, 2021 another vacuum tanker truck approached the same checkpoint where a service canine alerted agents to the tank. After a thorough inspection, agents discovered nearly 40 undocumented individuals inside the tank. The individuals were from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.
All of the undocumented individuals along with the drivers, both U.S. citizens, were taken into custody to be processed accordingly. The vacuum tankers were seized by U.S. Border Patrol.
Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and even with low temperatures, human smugglers continue to show little or no regard for the safety of the United States and for those that they smuggle into the country through dangerous conditions.
It is possible that people can become trapped in a cramped space like vacuum tankers.