Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) on Tuesday arrested a Mexican man on immigrant smuggling charges after discovering 54 illegal immigrants, including two unaccompanied teenagers, in an overcrowded residence in south El Paso.
Members of the HSI El Paso Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), which includes U.S. Border Patrol agents and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers, executed a search warrant at a duplex in the 100 block of Seville Drive, which was being used to harbor illegal immigrants who were smuggled into the United States. The group consisted of 45 adult males, five adult females, two accompanied teenagers, and two teenagers traveling alone from the following five nations: Belize, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.
Some of the illegal aliens had been at the stash house for more than a week. Several individuals required medical attention for injuries they sustained while crossing into the United States.
“The overcrowded conditions of this stash house in a residential neighborhood show the lack of respect human smugglers have for people who put their lives in smugglers’ hands,” said Jack P. Staton, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso. “HSI continues to target transnational criminal organizations that rake in huge profits by illegally smuggling people with clear disregard for their safety and welfare.”
The Mexican man allegedly responsible for harboring these illegal aliens was arrested on federal charges and remains in custody.
This remains an ongoing federal criminal investigation.