Rio Grande Valley District Border Patrol agents and local police thwarted an attempt by alleged smugglers to transport four Central American migrants on a commercial flight. The incident occurred at Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas.
Rio Grande Valley District officials assigned to the Border Patrol Intelligence Team received information about suspicious activity at Valley International Airport on May 25. Officers responded with the assistance of Harlingen, Texas police officers and approached the Gulf Aviation aircraft.
You have not been cleared to take off!
Read how RGV Border Patrol agents and law enforcement partners thwarted a smuggling attempt via commercial aircraft.
— Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez (@USBPChiefRGV) May 28, 2023
Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez tweeted a photo of what appeared to be the plane’s pilot escorting four people to the plane. Investigators entered the scene and questioned five people involved in the alleged smuggling.
Investigators confirmed that four passengers, two men and two women, were nationals of Guatemala and Honduras. The four immigrants did not have the papers permitting them to stay legally in the United States.
Investigators arrested four migrants and two pilots. Harlingen police seized the aircraft used in the alleged smuggling, CBP officials said in a statement.
Gloria I. Chavez, Chief Patrol Agent, said, “Great work by all involved,” adding, “This particular case highlights the importance of partnerships with law enforcement, especially in thwarting unconventional smuggling techniques. I am doing it,” he said.
In September 2022, Texas Department of Public Safety Special Agents and Border Patrol agents thwarted another airline-related smuggling incident at McAllen, Texas, Breitbart Texas reported.
In the case, 19 migrants were found in an attempted human smuggling case. Central American immigrants were allegedly smuggled into the Houston area.