EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) special agents from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), assigned to Operation Lone Star, have seized weapons, body armor and ammunition from a human smuggling ring believed to have cartel ties, according to a news release sent out by DPS.
Four people have also been arrested, according to the release.
The operation began in October, when CID special agents first identified a human smuggling organization with ties to the Nuevo Cartel De Juarez and La Linea Cartel operating out of El Paso County and Sunland Park, New Mexico, according to DPS.
According to DPS, a DPS Highway Patrol trooper made a traffic stop and discovered a “short barrel firearm” in the possession of someone believed to be providing security for the human smuggling operation.
DPS special agents and Highway Patrol troopers worked with the U.S. Border Patrol and through “extensive investigative efforts” identified other members of the smuggling ring. These efforts included locating photos on social media of the individuals heavily armed and in cartel attire paying tribute to La Linea Cartel. DPS special agents executed a search warrant in El Paso, revealing a cache of weapons and ammunition.
The follow-up investigation included the New Mexico State Police, Homeland Security Investigations and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and additional search warrants were executed in New Mexico. As a result of this investigation and collaboration, authorities seized 10 firearms, body armor and thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to DPS.
Lorena Anyla Enrique Acosta, 28, of Mexico; Adam Isaiah Ramirez, 27, of New Mexico; Gustavo Alexis Enriquez Acosta, 23, of New Mexico; and Edmundo Rodriguez Padilla, 24, of Mexico, have all been arrested and charged with numerous state and federal charges including possession of a prohibited weapon, human smuggling, undocumented migrant in possession of firearm and conspiracy to transport and harbor.
Additionally, Enriquez Acosta has no legal documentation to be in the country and had previously been employed as a state police officer in Mexico, according to DPS.
The investigation continues.
To report suspicious activity in the El Paso area, please contact El Paso Crimestoppers at (915) 566-8477.