EAGLE PASS, Texas– According to the U.S. Border Patrol, a Katy, Texas resident was arrested by agents at the Eagle Pass, Texas station on October 17. The 43-year-old male was allegedly driving through the checkpoint with three people who are not residents of the United States.
“Human smuggling is highly profitable for criminal organizations,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Agents, along with our law enforcement partners, work hard to combat this type of illegal activity and safeguard the lives of those who may suffer at the hands of smugglers.”
After inspecting the vehicle, agents discovered the possibility of that smuggling operation begin connected to a “stash house.” Agents along with Homeland Security then investigated a home in the area.
According to Border Patrol, agents arrested 12 people and found 250 grams of methamphetamine, and a sawed-off shotgun at the residence. The three suspected smugglers, among those arrested, are Eagle Pass residents.
HSI has taken the case and it will be prosecuted at the federal level. Those facing a charge of smuggling could receive a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.
Agents say, the adults who were smuggled are from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Ecuador. They will be processed according to Customs and Border Protection guidelines.
The following is a statement about stash houses from CBP:
“Human stash houses are commonly used by criminal organizations to stage smuggled people in often sub-human conditions. Individuals must typically await transport to interior destinations of the United States and pay fees to smugglers. It is not uncommon to be held for weeks in small, cramped structures without adequate ventilation, running water, or sanitation. Smugglers have also engaged in robbery, rape, and physical abuse.”