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Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

Laredo AMO details migrant apprehension increase

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Laredo Air Branch Air and Marine Operations (AMO) personnel have detailed how crew detection, surveillance and tracking operations experienced a 143 percent increase in migrant apprehensions.

The Laredo Air Branch Air and Marine Operations (AMO) was involved in the apprehension of 12,400 individuals from Oct. 1, 2020, to June 17, 2021, intervening in multiple human smuggling attempts in partnership with South Texas federal, state, and local partners.

“Our apprehension numbers as of June 2021 are 143 percent higher than our total apprehensions in FY2020,” DuWayne Nelson, deputy director of Air Operations, Laredo Air Branch, said. “We are responding to numerous distress calls for migrants in need of desperate medical help.”

In June, aircrews responded to a report of a suspect tractor-trailer possibly smuggling migrants in Texas. They detected a false wall within the vehicle and guided Border Patrol agents to the location where they apprehended 72 people; responded to an emergency call and found 35 migrants in need of water and medical assistance; partnered with Homeland Security Investigations, Laredo Sector Border Patrol, and the Laredo Police Department, conducting aerial overwatch of a suspected stash house in south Texas; and responded to a request from Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol agents to locate a suspect tractor-trailer. They identified the vehicle while guiding Border Patrol agents to its location, resulting in unloading 30 migrants from within the trailer, where they had no means of escape and little to no ventilation.