LAREDO, TX (STL.News) Within hours of each other, the U.S. Border Patrol and other state and local law enforcement agencies prevented both narcotics and human smuggling attempts on Interstate Highway 35 (I-35) north of Laredo. Smugglers will risk everything, including putting the traveling public in danger, while attempting to evade arrest like occurred during the first incident late in the evening of April 20. Agents working at the I-35 checkpoint referred a tractor to secondary inspection after a Service canine alerted to the vehicle. The tractor then proceeded to flee the checkpoint. Agents pursued the tractor while informing Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers of the vehicle. During the pursuit, the driver bailed from the vehicle near mile marker 63. DPS seized the vehicle along with eight bundles of marijuana weighing 291.6 pounds with a value of $67,608.00. The incident is pending further investigation.
The second incident occurred later that evening, and into the early hours of April 21, when deputies of the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) attempted to stop a blue sedan near Big Wells, Texas for a traffic infraction. The driver of the vehicle failed to yield and made several attempts to evade apprehension. Border Patrol agents working the area believed the vehicle was the same as one suspected to be involved in an earlier alien smuggling attempt. They forwarded the information to the Cotulla Station. DCSO continued pursuit of the vehicle northbound on I-35 until it came to a stop near mile marker 145. The driver attempted to flee on foot, but was apprehended by DCSO deputies. He was found to be transporting six individuals who were from Mexico and in the country illegally. DCSO criminally charged the driver and seized the vehicle. Cotulla Station agents arrived on scene and took custody of the six Mexican nationals.
U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Laredo Sector continue to stand at the ready to secure the nation’s borders and prevent brazen attempts to smuggle drugs and individuals into the United States.
To report suspicious activity such as alien and/or drug smuggling, download the “USBP Laredo Sector” App or contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free at (800) 343-1994.