What border crisis? 12 illegal immigrants found buried under trailer floor at Texas CBP checkpoint

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SARITA, TX – On Thursday, November 26th, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents rescued 12 illegal immigrants who were hidden and buried under a trailer’s false floor.

The trailer was being pulled by a Ford pickup truck as it passed through the Javier Vega Jr. checkpoint in Sarita, a CBP station between Brownsville and Corpus Christi on US Highway 77. A CBP K-9 unit was inspecting vehicles when the dog alerted on the trailer.

Smugglers had packed the people inside a rigged compartment in the trailer and screwed boards in over the top of them. This is a dangerous way to transport people, given the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning from the vehicle, plus injuries from vibrations in the trailer. 

Agents found a drill in the pickup and used it to unscrew the boards and free the people from El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. The immigrants were reported to be in good condition.

Earlier that day, agents in Rio Grande City found 38 men, women, and children inside a stash house. The group included four unaccompanied juveniles. They told the agents they had been mistreated by smugglers and had not eaten in days. 

By the end of the day on Thursday, CBP agents had taken 156 undocumented immigrants into custody in four days.

A border patrol spokesman stated:

“Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor to the health of the citizens of our great nation.”

The Rio Grande Valley Sector currently has multiple campaigns focused on rescues and danger awareness, such as “Operation Big Rig” and “No Se Arriesgue” (Don’t take chances) to combat smuggling and potentially save lives.

On I-35 south of San Antonio, CBP agents with the Laredo sector found a trailer similar to the previously described flatbed, only this time there were 26 people inside.

Matthew Hudak, Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent stated:

“Trapping 26 people underneath the floor of this trailer created a very dangerous situation, putting the lives of these illegal (immigrants) at risk.

Without any social distancing or PPE, these people were completely unprotected from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Smugglers continue to demonstrate a total disregard for public safety and the lives of smuggled (immigrants).”

Just three weeks ago, U.S. Border Patrol agents responded to a local business to assist Laredo police in investigating a suspicious tractor-trailer parked on the side of the street. The agents found 67 illegal immigrants inside.

Laredo Police Department officers said they heard noises coming from inside as they approached the abandoned trailer. Officers broke the seal of the locked trailer door, and discovered the 67 people who had no means of escape.

Agents distributed personal protective equipment to all individuals. All were in good health. The individuals were immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala, who had crossed the border illegally.

This type of smuggling operation and finding people inside trailers, rental trucks, and drop houses is not uncommon to Texas and other border states.

Last year, 54 illegals were found in a semi-trailer parked near the San Antonio airport. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge, Shane Folden, told reporters that the people in the truck were originally from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Brazil. Folden confirmed that five people had been taken to a local hospital and four of them had been released.

Folden stated:

“A 36-year-old Laredo, Texas man had been arrested and was expected to be charged with federal human smuggling violations.

“These criminal organizations are comprised of extremely callous individuals who disregard human life and make large profits on treating humans as a commodity.

Many times they are able to accomplish this because the individual smuggler knows that the individuals being smuggled won’t seek out law enforcement.”

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Five illegal immigrant MS-13 gang members charged in the murder of a Houston police informant

November 26, 2020

HARRIS COUNTY, TX- Five MS-13 gang members have been charged for the 2018 murder of an informant in Texas. All five of the gang members are illegal immigrants from El Salvador.

The MS-13 gang members Wilson Jose Ventura-Mejia (24), Jimmy Villalobos-Gomez (23),  Angel Miguel Aguilar-Ochoa (35), Walter Antonio Chicas-Garcia (23), and Marlon Miranda-Moran (21) were formally charged earlier in November.

The MS-13 members are charged with murder, in aid of racketeering, and conspiracy to commit murder.

The illegal aliens allegedly worked together to murder Victor Castro-Martinez, who was acting as an informant for Houston Police Department. Castro-Martinez was hacked to death by multiple MS-13 members with a large machete. 

At the time of his death, the informant was wearing a wire for the Houston Police Department.

MS-13 is an increasingly violent and dangerous gang that has gained traction in several states. The indictment of the five gang members outlines:

“MS-13 is a violent international street gang involved in a variety of violent criminal activities, including murder and attempted murder, in the Southern District of Texas and elsewhere.

MS-13 members and associates are located throughout the United States, including Texas, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and California. MS-13 also has a large international presence in El Salvador and Honduras.”

The court document goes on to state that MS-13 commonly uses acts of violence to maintain their power and reputation:

“In order to protect the power, reputation, and territory of MS-13, members and associates are required to use violence, threats of violence, and intimidation.”

The document adds that machetes are often used by members to commit murder:

“These acts of violence often include murder and assault with deadly weapons, including machetes. MS-13 members and associates maintain and enhance their status in the gang by participating in such violent acts.”

All five of the MS-13 members charged in the murder of Castro-Martinez were immigrants from El Salvador who had been living illegally in Houston, Texas. A sixth gang member has been charged with the murder of an informant, but he is not currently in police custody.

The sixth accused murderer is 23-year-old Franklin Trejo-Chavarria. Trejo-Chavarria is also an El Salvador native and is currently serving a life sentence in the South American country for charges related to his time in the MS-13 gang.

Four of the gang members that have been charged with the murder of Castro-Martinez previously had a detainer placed on them by the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The detainer is designed to ensure that defendants facing serious charges remain in police custody. Illegal immigrants being held on detainer are made available to state courts for criminal hearings and prosecution.

A spokesperson for ICE told Breitbart:

“On Aug. 23, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged immigration detainers on three men from El Salvador: Wilson Jose Ventura Mejia, 22; Marlon Miranda Moran, 19; and Miguel Angel Aguilar Ochoa, 33. All three individuals remain in the custody of the Houston Police Department (HPD) on pending murder charges.”

The ICE spokesperson also said:

“On July 25, Carlos Henriquez-Torres, 18, also from El Salvador, was transferred into ICE custody from HPD pursuant to an immigration detainer. Henriquez-Torres remains in ICE custody.”

Unfortunately, crimes committed by MS-13 gang members are on the rise. Law Enforcement Today has previously reported that over 600 violent MS-13 members have been arrested in the last 3 years.

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