NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported Friday that numerous human trafficking operations have been disrupted in the El Paso Sector. According to a Department of Homeland Security press release, 56 human smuggling events have been stopped in the past week alone, resulting in the apprehension of over 300 smuggled migrants. The release also states that since October, agents have discovered 67 stash houses with over 875 migrants intercepted.
On February 5, agents part of the Santa Teresa Station Anti-Smuggling Unit stopped a scheme and encountered 26 smuggled migrants found inside two SUVs. Multiple people were seen jumping into the vehicles on New Mexico Highway 9. All migrants were from Mexico and El Salvador, including five juveniles from Mexico. The two U.S. drivers were charged with conspiracy to transport.
On February 7 at the Las Cruces Border Patrol Station, 52 migrants were found inside two mobile homes. Agents had gotten information about a possible stash located in Las Cruces. All migrants found were adults. Two people from Mexico and Venezuela were charged with conspiracy to transport.
On February 8, Border Patrol Agents from the same station, along with New Mexico State Police, found 17 smuggled migrants in two motel rooms acting as a stash house. Information received from the February 7 bust led agents to the motel.
Later that day, Ysleta Border Patrol agents came across 25 migrants inside a stash house along with narcotics. Agents found 145.6 grams of fentanyl pills, 25.9 grams of crystal meth, 26.7 grams of cocaine, 82.3 grams of an unknown substance, and other paraphernalia. Migrants at this location were from Guatemala and Mexico.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection urges the public to report suspicious activity anonymously by calling 1-800-635-2509.