U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Joint Targeting Team – South in Eagle Pass, Texas recently discovered a stash house where 11 undocumented migrants were being hidden for human smuggling.
The discovery occurred on Feb. 7 as Border Patrol agents, with assistance from the Maverick County Sheriff’s Office, located the suspected stash house near the downtown region of Eagle Pass. As law enforcement officers approached the building, an individual was seen fleeing the area on foot. The man was quickly apprehended after a short chase by officers.
Law enforcement soon found an additional 10 people hiding within the house. In total, eight men from Mexico, one woman from Honduras, and one man and one woman from El Salvador were apprehended.
After a short round of questioning, the officers discovered some individuals in the group had been previously removed from the United States. Each individual will be charged with being illegally present in the country and will face deportation.
“Human smuggling is a profitable enterprise for the cartels,” Matthew J. Hudak, acting chief patrol agent for the Del Rio Sector, said. “Border Patrol agents and law enforcement partners in Joint Targeting Teams search out such offenders. Our agency will continue to utilize a wide array of enforcement components to combat these trans-national criminal organizations at every level.”
The use of stash houses is a common practice in human smuggling, providing cover for human traffickers as they await transport to different locations. In many instances, individuals are held in small, cramped quarters without adequate ventilation, running water, or proper sanitation.