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US port of entry stops five separate human smuggling attempts in less than 48 hours

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(NEW YORK) — Five separate alleged human smuggling attempts at a single port of entry into the U.S. have been intercepted in less than 48 hours, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office.

The five separate attempts occurred over the weekend starting Friday morning and carrying through until Sunday when officials from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations (CBP) officers at Del Rio Port of Entry in Texas caught five separate alleged human smuggling attempts in a span of less than two days, said CBP.

The first attempted breach happened on Friday morning at approximately 8 a.m. when CBP officers assigned to the Del Rio International Bridge encountered a passenger vehicle driven by a female United States citizen arriving from Mexico and a CBP officer referred all of the passengers in the car for a secondary examination.

It was during this examination and interview process when it was discovered the driver had presented two U.S. passports for an adult female, and a minor male. Upon further examination, both passengers were discovered to be citizens and nationals of Mexico and had no valid entry documents, according to CBP.

Just 19 hours later on Saturday at approximately 3 a.m., CBP officers encountered a passenger vehicle driven by a female United States citizen arriving from Mexico and the driver presented a U.S. birth certificate for an adult female, said CBP.

A CBP officer decided it was necessary to conduct a secondary examination which subsequently revealed that the passenger was a Mexican citizen with no valid documents to enter or travel to the U.S., CBP said in a statement detailing the five separate instances.

The third attempted breach happened about an hour later at 4 a.m. on Saturday when CBP officers encountered a passenger vehicle driven by a female United States citizen arriving from Mexico and the driver presented two U.S. birth certificates for two adult male passengers that were posing as minors, said CBP.

Upon a secondary examination and interviews, CBP officers discovered that both passengers were Mexican citizens and the entry documents did not belong to them.

The penultimate human smuggling attempt happened just over 12 hours later on Saturday evening at approximately 9 p.m. when CBP officers encountered a passenger vehicle driven by a male Mexican citizen arriving from Mexico and, following a further investigation, it was discovered that the driver and his wife, also a citizen of Mexico, were attempting to hide an adult male in the cargo area of the vehicle, said CBP.

“The male was later identified as their adult son, a citizen and national of Mexico, with no valid entry documents,” CBP said.

The final occurrence at Del Rio Port of Entry in Texas occurred on Sunday at approximately 7 a.m. when CBP officers encountered a passenger vehicle driven by a female United States citizen arriving from Mexico and the driver presented a U.S. birth certificate for a minor female, said CBP.

“A CBP officer referred all vehicle passengers for a secondary examination,” CBP said detailing the final attempted breach that they were able to stop. “Through interview and examination, CBP officers discovered the minor was a Mexican citizen with no valid documents to enter or travel to the U.S.”

In total CBP officers arrested three U.S. citizen drivers and one Mexican citizen for alleged violations of U.S. immigration law, and seized four vehicles in connection with these alleged human smuggling attempts.

“These five significant events serve as a resounding reminder that violating U.S. immigration law can carry significant legal and criminal consequences. The skillset applied in uncovering these would-be smuggling attempts serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to our border security mission,” said Port Director Liliana Flores, Del Rio Port of Entry.

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