EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Nearly 50 migrants sat inside a tractor-trailer traveling on Interstate 10 before a border checkpoint stop in Sierra Blanca.
U.S. Border Patrol agents conducted a traffic check on the vehicle with a non-intrusive K-9 unit inspection at the stop. The canine unit alerted agents to a possible discovery inside, which led to a further inspection of the vehicle.
Agents found 49 migrants sitting inside the cargo area after the back doors were open. U.S. agents said they came from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.
“Checkpoint operations are vital to monitoring the egress of illegal activity into the United State,” Sean McGoffin, the Big Bend Sector chief patrol agent said. “Agents and their K-9 partners were able to positively identify a large smuggling scheme, saving multiple individuals from a potentially dangerous situation.”
The driver of the vehicle, who had a visa to be in the United States, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for prosecution, according to a news release. The undocumented migrants were given medical checks and processed.