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Border Patrol intercepts vacuum tanker human smuggling attempts


Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents were able to rescue dozens of individuals from two recent human smuggling attempts involving vacuum tankers at a checkpoint west of Freer, Texas.

The first incident took place around 8:30 a.m. on November 27 the U.S. Highway 59 Border Patrol checkpoint.

A vacuum tanker truck that approached the checkpoint was referred for a secondary inspection after canine alerted to the vehicle during an immigration inspection of the driver.

Agents discovered nearly 30 people inside the tanker from the countries of Mexico and El Salvador.

On November 30, a vacuum tanker approached the same checkpoint.

After a service canine alerted agents to the tank, agents discovered nearly 40 people from countries of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras concealed in the tank.

Both vacuum tanker truck drivers were U.S. citizens and were taken into custody. The tankers were seized by U.S. Border Patrol.

All of the individuals recovered from the tanks were also taken into custody for processing.

“Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and even with low temperatures, human smugglers continue to show little or no regard for the safety of our Nation and for those that they smuggle into the country through dangerous conditions. It is only through the continued vigilance of U.S. Border Patrol agents that those who might become trapped in cramped space like a vacuum tanker are rescued. Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents will continue to keep our country and communities safe from dangerous criminals and convicted felons as they strive to uphold the agency’s core values of Vigilance, Service, and Integrity,” Laredo Sector Border Patrol said.


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