In a joint operation, agents with the U.S. Border Patrol and Webb County Constables Office (WCCO) discovered three stash houses used for human smuggling in Texas.
Early Thursday morning, Border Patrol agents at the Laredo South Station were conducting surveillance on two possible stash houses. At one of the houses, agents encountered an illegal alien from Mexico. At the second house, agents encountered a U.S. citizen and an illegal alien from El Salvador. The three individuals from both houses were arrested pending further investigation.
A short time later, Border Patrol agents and WCCO performed a welfare check at a third residence. When the door opened, numerous individuals were observed sitting on the floor. Further investigation determined that 26 illegal aliens from Mexico and Honduras were inside the home. All 26 were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents.
In a press release, CBP said that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was contacted for further investigation of the residences.
Smugglers often force migrants to stay in unsanitary stash houses and cramped compartments along their arduous journies to the United States.
In Mar. 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents discovered 67 illegal aliens hidden inside a small shed in New Mexico.
In May of this year, Border Patrol agents discovered 12 illegal aliens from the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico at another stash house in Laredo, Texas.
"As the deplorable conditions of this stash house demonstrate, transnational criminal organizations have no respect for human life," HSI Special Agent Jack Staton said in May. "Human smuggling is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, and the individuals being smuggled are viewed as cargo by the criminal networks."
CBP encourages those wishing to report suspicious activity, such as alien and/or drug smuggling, to download the "USBP Laredo Sector" App or call the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll-free at 1-800-343-1994.