Human trafficking network busted in the Juarez-El Paso border

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CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA.- A multi-agency traffic stop on Sunland Park Drive last week was part of a streak of human smuggling busts in El Paso and Southern New Mexico, U.S. Border Patrol officials said.

The arrests took place as the Border Patrol continues seeing a “highly concerning” number of migrant smuggling cases by organized crime groups in the El Paso-Juárez region, officials said.

Last week, El Paso Sector border agents working with state and local law enforcement intercepted 20 vehicular human smuggling attempts transporting 129 migrants, the Border Patrol said.

The interdictions included daytime busts in El Paso’s Upper Valley, not far from the U.S.-Mexico border in Sunland Park and Santa Teresa in New Mexico. Some of the arrests were done with help from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the El Paso Police Department’s Gang Unit.

“We could not be as effective as we have been at targeting these criminals without the cooperation of our law enforcement partners at the state, local and federal levels. This effective law enforcement partnership is one of the reasons why El Paso is one of the safest cities in America,” El Paso Border Patrol Chief Gloria I. Chavez said in a statement.

FILE PHOTO: Asylum-seeking migrants are taken to a van by a U.S. Border Patrol agent after they crossed the Rio Bravo, in El Paso, Texas, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, April 6, 2022. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters, FILE)

El Paso smuggler vehicle interdictions

The Border Patrol reported that some of the cases included:

July 11: Seven undocumented migrants were found crammed inside a Jeep Grand Cherokee during a stopnear Country Club Road and Westside Drive by agents with the Border Patrol’s Santa Teresa Anti-Smuggling Unit and the Texas DPS. Two suspected smugglers were arrested on state charges and the migrants were returned to Mexico under the Title 42 pandemic law.

July 12: A smuggling attempt began near Country Club Road in Santa Teresa ended with a vehicle stop near Country Club Road and Love Road in El Paso. Nine migrants from Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala were found in a pickup. The migrants were sent to Mexico under Title 42. The driver, from Mexico, was arrested on state charges.

July 13: The Border Patrol received a tip from a concerned citizen about a pickup possibly involved in smuggling travelling on McNutt Road toward Sunland Park. EPPD Gang Unit officers and Border Patrol agents found seven smuggled migrants after stopping the truck on Sunland Park Drive near Doniphan Drive. Texas DPS arrested the driver.

Source: El Diario

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