Over the course of a busy 24 hours U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended 104 illegal immigrants inside a tractor trailer at a checkpoint and a stash house in Laredo, TX. One of the individuals apprehended inside the tractor-trailer was discovered to have been previously convicted for murder.
The first incident occurred during the early afternoon of July 21, 2020 when a tractor-trailer approached the I-35 checkpoint and a service canine alerted agents to the trailer. Agents discovered 58 individuals inside the trailer, all illegally present in the United States from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The individuals and the driver, a U.S. Citizen, were turned over to Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation. The tractor and trailer were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
During the investigation, a Mexican national was determined to have a previous conviction on the charge of murder, out of Houston, Texas. His conviction carried a sentence of 10 years confinement. He was criminally charged for his immigration violations and remains in U.S. Border Patrol custody pending prosecution.
During the mid-evening of the same day, federal agents conducted surveillance at a suspected stash house in Laredo, Texas. A green SUV was observed leaving the house with several individuals inside. Agents conducted a traffic stop and discovered that it was occupied by five individuals who were illegally present in the U.S. The driver and his four passengers were taken into custody.
Agents then went to the stash house and apprehended 46 individuals, including one juvenile, at the residence. The individuals were in the country illegally from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, smugglers continue to endanger the lives of individuals they exploit.