Rio Grande Sector Border Patrol Agents Seize More Than 800 Pounds of Marijuana, Worth an Estimated $647,000

This is what about 800 pounds of marijuana looks like. This batch of pot was seized by BPD agents in Hidalgo, Texas, back in January 2018. (We assume the latest seizures weren’t as photogenic.)

EDINBURG, Texas– Over the weekend, Border Patrol agents interdicted multiple marijuana smuggling attempts, collecting a total of 810 pounds of pot with an estimated street value of $647,000.

The afternoon of Dec. 18, Brownsville Station agents in Texas observed multiple individuals near a Chevrolet Tahoe parked on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. The Tahoe was then seen leaving the area and driving on Military Highway. Agents attempted to stop the vehicle, but the suspect failed to yield. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers in the area, assisted Border Patrol by taking over pursuit.

The driver of the Tahoe changed direction and began driving towards the Rio Grande River. The suspect vehicle was eventually driven into the river, where it was partially submerged. The driver and a passenger were seen swimming into Mexico. Agents retrieved 15 bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 348 pounds, with an estimated value of $278,000. The marijuana and vehicle were turned over to DPS.

Later that day, Fort Brown Border Patrol agents in Brownsville were alerted to three subjects carrying bundles of suspected narcotics near Highway 4. Agents searched the area where the suspects were last seen and discovered three abandoned bundles of marijuana weighing about 114 pounds with an estimated street value of over $91,000. The suspects were not located.

The evening of Dec. 20, Rio Grande City agents working near El Refugio, Texas, observed a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed away from Rio Grande and onto the Expressway 83. Agents then observed the vehicle drive into a nearby neighborhood. The occupants of the vehicle were seen abandoning the vehicle and running into a nearby residence. Agents inspected the abandoned vehicle and found four large bundles of marijuana inside, weighing 348 pounds with an approximate value of $278,000. The suspects were later taken into custody by the Rio Grande City Police Department, which also received the pot and vehicle.

Customs and Border Protection Arrests Man Wanted for Child Sexual Assault

DALLAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officers at the Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport arrested a traveler wanted for sexual assault of a child, Nov. 22.

CBP officers intercepted Jose Alfaro, a 66-year-old U.S. citizen, as he disembarked a flight from El Salvador over the weekend.  A warrant out of Galveston,Texas was issued for Alfaro for aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.

2020-11-24 IAH - Back of CBPO working egress - EC6A1623 CBP officers arrested Alfaro and turned him over to the Texas Department of Public Safety at DFW Airport.  Charges and allegations contained in criminal complaints are merely accusations.  Suspects are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

“CBP officers are vigilant and trained to detect, identify and apprehend wanted suspects,” said Timothy Lemaux, Dallas Area Port Director. “As a law enforcement agency, our officers are committed to carrying out our mission of protecting our Nation.”

Border Patrol arrests sex offenders, criminal aliens in the Rio Grande Valley

EDINBURG, Texas – Over the weekend, Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents arrested three sex offenders and two members of violent criminal organizations.

Rio Grande City agents working near Roma, Texas, on Nov. 13 arrested a Guatemalan national, later identified as Amos Nemias Lopez-Ramirez, shortly after he illegally entered the United States. During processing, record checks revealed he is a confirmed Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member. Records revealed he had previously been arrested in Virginia by the Harrisonburg Police Department for assault and sentenced to five years incarceration.

That same day, McAllen agents working in Los Ebanos, Texas, arrested a Guatemalan national whose record checks identified him as Jose Cottoc-Machic. Furthermore, agents discovered the man was previously arrested in Alabama by the Russellville Police Department and charged with sexual assault-rape 2nd degree. A judge sentenced Cottoc-Machic to eight years imprisonment but suspended his sentence to three months and five years probation.

The following morning, Falfurrias, Texas, agents arrested Jose Vasquez-Chavez, a Salvadoran national attempting to circumvent the immigration checkpoint. During processing, record checks revealed he had previously been arrested by the Katy Police Department for sexual assault of a child, convicted, and sentenced to two years confinement.

Later that evening, McAllen agents arrested a Mexican national, later identified as Fernando Jimenez-Rodriguez, after he illegally entered the United States.

Jose Tomas Vasquez-Chavez, convicted sex offender.

During processing, his record checks revealed a previous arrest by the Dallas Police Department for indecency with a child. Jimenez-Rodriguez received a two year prison sentence.

On Nov. 16, Rio Grande city agents on patrol near the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas, arrested a Mexican national after he was rafted across the river by a human smuggler. During processing, the man identified himself as a member of a criminal organization, Los Metros, which has been identified as a faction of the Gulf Cartel.

Concerned citizen’s tip leads to Border Patrol and Webb County Sheriff’s Office shutting down stash house

LAREDO, TEXAS –   Acting together on a tip from a concerned citizen, U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Laredo South Station and Webb County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies closed down a “stash house” in Rio Bravo, Texas, and arrested 39 illegal aliens.

Border Patrol busts "stash house" for humans

Border Patrol arrests 39 illegal aliens. (Photo: Customs and Border Protection)

During the late morning of Sept. 30, the agents and deputies, acting on information of a possible stash house, apprehended 39 individuals who were determined to be in the United States illegally from the countries of Mexico and Guatemala.  Two of the individuals had active arrest warrants for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and were turned over to WCSO for extradition.  

None of the individuals were wearing any personal protective equipment (PPE).  With a noted increase in COVID-19 infections among detainees, the smuggling and housing of large groups of individuals in stash houses and close quarters without PPE not only endangers the people being smuggled, but the safety of our nation, a CBP spokesman said.

The CBP did not say who owned the stash house, nor how the undocumented individuals discovered or were directed to it.

Source: CBP – You can also follow CBP on their social media platforms on Twitter and Instagram @usbpchieflrt and @usbpdepchieflrt and on Facebook at US Border Patrol Laredo Sector. 

Yuma-area Border Patrol Agents arrest convicted child molester, two companions

YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Station Border Patrol agents apprehended a male previously convicted of child molestation as he attempted to make illegal entry into the United States on Sept. 29.

Symbol of the Border Patrol, Yuma SectionAt approximately 3:40 p.m., agents working in the Imperial Sand Dunes area apprehended a group of three Mexican nationals. During processing, agents identified one subject who had various criminal and administrative convictions, including felony child molestation. He was removed from the United States in 2013 from Texas.

The man, whose name was not released, will be prosecuted for re-entry as a previously deported aggravated felon, the Border Patrol said. The other two Mexican nationals were arrested and returned to Mexico.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

ICE, Border Patrol raid of Chaparral stash house results in 57 arrests

CHAPARRAL, N.M. – Continuing a recent trend, U.S. Border Patrol and ICE agents discovered a crowded stash house containing 48 illegal aliens last week.

El Paso Border Patrol Agents investigating a potential smuggling scheme encountered seven illegal aliens near the El Paso International Airport. The illegal aliens provided information that led to the discovery of four dozen other illegal aliens inside the stash house in Chaparral, New Mexico.

CPB, 2 agents at the border fence

Standing in front of a stretch of border wall.

Following the discovery, a lawfully admitted permanent resident and his wife were arrested on smuggling charges. The aliens from Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico also were arrested, making a total of 57 people taken into custody.

The Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deportation Officers (ICE-DO) took part in the arrests.

The stash house discovery comes on the heels of a recent take-down last month where 32 persons were found inside of an El Paso, Texas, stash house in the Lower Valley.

 “Border Patrol Agents, joined by HSI and ICE-DO identified a stash house with 48 illegal aliens inside a Chaparral, New Mexico residence,” stated El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “This incident demonstrates the continued exploitation by transnational criminal organizations who repeatedly use humans for profit regardless of the inherent risks including the potential for the spread of COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic.”

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lead to Several Arrests In Del Rio, Texas Area

DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents made several arrests with the assistance of CBP Air and Marine Operations’ Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) on Sept. 16.

In five separate events, UAS crews assisted agents in the field, resulting in 26 arrests. Eight illegal aliens were located and arrested near Comstock, 10 near Del Rio, seven near Eagle Pass, and four near Carrizo Springs, Customs and Border Patrol said.

Air and Marine Operations crews use cutting-edge systems technology, and real-time networked data dissemination and exploitation to detect, identify, monitor, and coordinate a response with law enforcement partners to threats at the nation’s border and on approach to the United States. This real-time view allows agents to effectively patrol vast amounts of land that may be otherwise inaccessible to agents.