Laredo North Station agents assigned to the Interstate 35 immigration checkpoint on October 7 observed a tractor-trailer approaching for inspection. During the primary immigration interview, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to an odor coming from the trailer it is trained to detect. The agents referred the driver, a U.S. citizen, to a secondary inspection area, according to information obtained from Laredo Sector Border Patrol officials.
In the secondary area, agents unlocked the trailer and found 100 people trapped inside with no means of escape in the event of a crash or abandonment by the human smugglers. Agents reported the temperature inside the trailer was 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The agents removed the migrants from the trailer, noting they wore no protective equipment to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus. A medical screening determined none of the migrants required immediate medical attention.
During an immigration interview, the agents identified the 100 migrants as having been smuggled into the U.S. from Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, officials reported. The agents placed the 100 people under arrest for immigration violations. They will be processed under Title 42 coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They also arrested the U.S. citizen driver of the tractor-trailer. During processing, the agents learned the driver has an “extensive criminal history,” officials reported. They also learned the tractor-trailer had been reported stolen. Webb County Sheriff’s Office deputies took possession of the vehicle and trailer.
“This is yet another incident that is indicative of the criminal element involved in the smuggling of people into the country for profit,” Laredo Sector officials said in a written statement. “They have no regard for the safety of the people they exploit while also endangering our agents and communities.”
Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak added, “We continue to see dangerous tactics being used by smugglers, including packing 100 people into a tractor-trailer. As COVID-19 remains a threat to our agents, our healthcare workers, and the public, smugglers continue to knowingly irresponsibly put everyone at risk in order to make a profit.”
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.