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Cartel Smuggler uses caltrops to evade U.S. Border Patrol agents during chase

January 17, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Cartel Smuggler uses caltrops to evade U.S. Border Patrol agents during chase

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Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley continue to face the dangers they encounter in the country’s busiest area for the apprehension of illegals. Agents in this sector detain more Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) than all other patrol sectors along the southwest border combined.

Close to half of all immigrants caught after crossing the border from Mexico are arrested in the 17,000 square miles of this area.

Agents are faced with risks to themselves and the illegal aliens being led by human smugglers. Those dangers include direct attacks on the agents and high-speed pursuits involving both human and drug cargo. The immigrants are also placed in danger through the quests, being force-marched through dangerous ranchlands in South Texas, and they are often beaten, raped and extorted in stash houses, RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. revealed.

Padilla provided examples of high-speed chases that frequently conclude in what is called “splashdowns.” This is a strategy used by smugglers where they flee from authorities and return to the river border with Mexico. When they cross over Rio Grande River border, the smugglers drive their cars into the water. The goal is to give individuals on the Mexican side of the border a chance to salvage as much of the drug load as possible before law enforcement officials can seize it.

Three such incidents occurred in the past week, according to Padilla.

On January 10th, agents working at the Weslaco Station noticed suspects loading packages of marijuana into an SUV. As Border Patrol agents went to the scene, the driver quickly drove the vehicle into the river and fled into Mexico, Breitbart Texas reported.

While the smuggler evaded capture, agents recovered over 500 pounds of marijuana. The seized drugs are worth over $400,000.

Fort Brown Station agents tried to pull over a suspicious vehicle on Friday. The driver escaped from the agents and started throwing caltrops into the road. The caltrops put agents’ and other drivers on the roadway lives in danger because control of a vehicle can be lost when the tires are blown out. In this instance, the agents driving the two Border Patrol vehicles controlled their vehicles and safely came to a stop.

The purported drug smuggler managed to make it back to the Rio Grande River where he “splashed down.” When agents arrived, they saw people on the Mexican side of the river swimming and carrying bundles of the drug back into Mexico. The driver also successfully fled.

On Friday, Rio Grande City Station agents intercepted another drug smuggling operation. The driver of a vehicle splashed down his drug loaded car back into the Rio Grande Valley River and successfully evaded authorities.

Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents in South Texas continue to rescue migrants being held in packed human stash houses. In one case, agents and the police department in Roma, Texas rescued 20 undocumented migrants from a residence.

Agents stationed at the Weslaco Station discovered another human stash house on January 11th where 17 migrants were being held. The following day, five more immigrants in the U.S. illegally were discovered near San Benito.

“The incidents that have occurred the past few days are symptoms of a chaotic border,” Chief Padilla said in a statement. “Although we have seen a decrease in apprehensions nationwide, the Valley continues to be the most volatile area along the border.”

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