Border Patrol agents intercepted a large human smuggling attempt at the Interstate 35 (I-35) checkpoint located north of Laredo, Texas.
The incident occurred late in the evening hours of January 21, 2020 when a white 18-wheeler tractor-trailer approached the checkpoint. During an immigration inspection of the driver, a service canine alerted to the trailer.
Agents referred the vehicle to a secondary inspection; however, the driver failed to stop, continued to drive north until coming to a rest in a nearby open field and fled from the vehicle on foot. Agents opened the abandoned trailer and discovered 63 individuals, all illegally present in the United States from the countries of El Salvador, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and China.
Agents conducted an extensive search of the area and subsequently apprehended the driver of the tractor-trailer. The driver, a United States Citizen, and the individuals found in the trailer were placed under arrest pending investigation.
The tractor and trailer were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol. The case was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.