13 Illegal Migrants Locked Inside a Box Truck Without Oxygen Rescued in the 'Safest City in America'


EL PASO – U.S. Border Patrol Agents in the El Paso Sector, in addition to handling the recent migrant influx impacting the El Paso Station, have continued to sustain their border enforcement posture and have dismantled numerous dangerous human smuggling attempts and rescued migrants this week.

The most significant event occurred on Tuesday, Sept. 20, when Border Patrol Agents encountered 13 smuggled migrants locked inside a UHAUL box truck without access to oxygen.

Fortunately, all migrants were uninjured and did not need any further attention after initial medical evaluation. All 13 adult migrants from Mexico were expelled under Title 42 and the United States Citizen driver will face charges under Title 8 USC 1324 (Conspiracy to Transport).

Few hours later, Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Deming Station apprehended a subject who was identified as an aggravated felon with a prior order of removal. The individual was part of a group of nine smuggled migrants walking in a wilderness desert area approximately 31 miles northeast of the Columbus, New Mexico, International Port of Entry. Records checks indicate that the individual was charged and convicted in the State of Colorado. He was turned over to the Luna County Detention Center pending criminal proceedings under Title 8 USC 1326 (Illegal Re-Entry).

The next day, Sept. 21, agents assigned to the Deming Station, rescued two smuggled migrants in distress who were abandoned by smugglers as they crossed illegally into the United States. The agents received a 911 emergency call indicating that two adult females needed medical attention and were lost near the Cedar Mountains in New Mexico. When agents arrived, they encountered one female with visible signs of dehydration and the second female with an injury to her ankle and signs of dehydration. Both migrants were immediately transported to receive further medical evaluation and treatment at a local hospital.

Other events during these seven days include the disruption of eighteen human smuggling schemes with the use of vehicles, the arrest of two individuals with extensive criminal records and gang affiliation, the disruption of one stash house, and two migrant rescues with different injuries.

Additionally, in recent days, the El Paso Sector has seen an average of approximately 1,500 daily migrant encounters, many of them from the countries of Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Colombia. 

“These events within the last seven days highlight how complex our border environment has become and the determination by our Border Patrol Agents to adjust operationally as needed to address any situation on the border,” said El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “Despite having to manage a migrant influx of humanitarian nature in one specific area, our Border Patrol Agents remain steadfast in maintaining our immigration checkpoints operational and being able to secure other border areas of the El Paso Sector.  I am truly proud of the invaluable work El Paso Sector Border Patrol Agents do each and every day in our West Texas and New Mexico region.” 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol while remaining anonymous by calling 1-800-635-2509.

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