An agent assigned to the Laredo West Border Patrol station patrolling near the U.S. Highway 83 interior immigration checkpoint on September 10 observed a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer inside a ranch. The agent became suspicious of the truck and approached the vehicle for inspection, according to information obtained from Laredo Sector Border Patrol officials.
The agent approached the truck as the driver attempted to exit the ranch’s State Highway 44 gate. The driver bailed out of the truck and fled into the brush, officials stated.
The agent walked up to the truck and found one occupant in the front passenger seat. He also found 42 people packed inside the horse trailer.
Agents conducted immigration interviews and determined all 43 were foreign nationals illegally present in the United States. Agents identified the migrants as having come to the U.S. from Mexico and Honduras, officials reported.
Border Patrol officials stated that none of the 42 migrants packed inside the trailer had personal protective equipment. The agents conducted an initial medical screening before transporting them to the station for processing and further investigation.
A check on the vehicle led to the discovery that the pickup and trailer had both been reported stolen. Agents turned the vehicle over to Texas Department of Public Safety troopers.
“The photos in this incident are clear evidence that smugglers have no regard for the safety of the people they are smuggling and for the public they are putting at risk to potential exposure to COVID-19,” Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak said in a written statement. “None of the illegal aliens arrested had PPE and were packed close together for an extended period of time. Whether in a remote ranch area like this or within the city, our agents remain vigilant to stop all threats along our border.”
Human smugglers frequently drop off loads of migrants on the ranches surrounding interior Border Patrol checkpoints. They force them to make a dangerous and often-deadly hike around the checkpoints before picking them up on the other side of the checkpoint.
Under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 43 migrants will likely be expelled to Mexico upon completion of the smuggling investigation, medical screening, and criminal background investigation.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.