CJR Staff
May 30, 2023

Human trafficking attempt foiled at Harlingen, TX airport

In one of the latest examples of the human smuggling crisis at the country's southern border that the Biden administration has openly facilitated, agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector joined forces with local law enforcement in Harlingen, Texas last week to disrupt an attempt to bring four Central American migrants into the U.S. via private flight, as Breitbart reports.

According to the outlet, the smuggling plot was intercepted at the Valley International Airport and thwarted by Border Patrol agents working alongside officers from the Harlingen Police Department.

A press release from Customs and Border Patrol indicated that the operation began when agents were alerted to possible suspicious conduct at Gulf Aviation's hangar facilities at the aforementioned airport.

CPB agents subsequently linked up with members of the Harlingen Police Department and approached the airplane at issue, swiftly disrupting a smuggling operation said to have involved two pilots and four illegal migrants from Central America.

It was ultimately determined that the migrants hailed from Honduras and Guatemala, and none of the group's members possessed documentation permitting their legal entry into the United States.

As a result of that discovery, all four of them were promptly arrested on site in a successful conclusion to the agencies' join efforts.

The aircraft itself was then seized by local police for its suspected use in a human smuggling plot.

Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez was quick to hail the successful outcome, praising all involved by saying, “Great work to all involved.”

“This particular case highlights the importance of our law enforcement partnerships, especially intercepting unconventional smuggling methods,” Chavez added.

As Breitbart further noted, a similar aviation-driven smuggling operation was also intercepted by authorities back in September, underscoring the increasingly creative ways in which criminals are attempting to bring migrants into the country.

According to the outlet, the incident from last fall occurred at the McAllen, Texas airport, and authorities from the Texas Department of Public Safety were credited with halting the attempted operation.

Authorities received reports that three vehicles had dropped off a cadre of suspected migrants at the McCreery Aviation Company facility at the McAllen airport, and a twin-engine aircraft was subsequently ordered grounded into further investigation could take place.

In the end, the plane was found to contain 19 migrants from Central America, all of whom were planning to fly to Houston with no legal authority to do so, further underscoring the increasing brazenness with which human smugglers feel they can breach the country's border without risk of consequence.

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