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Federal authorities take down multiple human smuggling rings in the El Paso, Texas-Juárez border region

July 27, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Federal authorities take down multiple human smuggling rings in the El Paso, Texas-Juárez border region

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Federal officials joined forces in the El Paso-Juárez Border Area to dismantle cartel-connected human smuggling efforts last month. The operation led to the arrests of human smugglers, 117 undocumented migrants, and the seizure of cash, vehicles, and drugs.

Homeland Security Investigation and Border Patrol agents working on the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) executed numerous busts against human smugglers in the El Paso-Juárez area in a month-long attempt to combat human smuggling.

The BEST agents raided multiple human smuggling stash houses and apprehended two U.S. citizens for participating in human smuggling operations.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to pursue members of transnational criminal networks that exploit and endanger people they smuggle into our country,” Jack P. Staton, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso, announced in a statement. “These smugglers are driven by greed and heartlessness. HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to maintain the integrity of our border and nation’s immigration laws.”

During the probe, agents captured Elias Serrano, 42, and Jesus Briseno, 25, both U.S. citizens, on human smuggling charges. Serrano has been previously convicted of aggravated stalking, abduction, possession of a deadly weapon, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Briseno also has a criminal record that includes convictions for escape from custody, possession of marijuana, assault causing injury to a family member, and DWI.

BEST agents arrested 117 illegals during the month-long probe. Some of those included aliens with criminal backgrounds, ties to Mexican cartels, fraud, child endangerment, DWI, and illegal re-entry to the United States following deportation, according to reports.

The migrants arrested in three stash house busts are reportedly citizens of Mexico (93), Guatemala (12), Honduras (6), Brazil (3), and Peru (1).

Along with the arrests, agents also seized nine cars, three tractor-trailers, $20,000 in U.S. and Mexican cash, and over 1,000 pounds of marijuana.

“This is a great example of the dedication amongst area law enforcement agencies working towards the goals of securing our borders, protecting our local communities and our nation,” El Paso Sector Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem stated.

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