Border agents arrest 24 migrants, 3 alleged smugglers at RV park

by: Julian Resendiz
Posted: Apr 29, 2024 / 06:25 PM CDT
Updated: Apr 29, 2024 / 06:25 PM CDT


EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Three drivers and 24 migrants are in custody after border agents tracked a caravan of SUVs and a pickup from a highway near the border to an empty RV park near Columbus, New Mexico.

Three vehicles traveling in tandem on New Mexico State Road 9 in the early hours of April 24 attracted the attention of border agents because they appeared to be following a speeding white Ford F-150.

The lead truck kept going but two Ford Expedition SUVs and a Dodge Ram pickup – all with Chihuahua, Mexico, license plates – pulled into an RV park along NM 9, about 2 miles north of the border with Mexico.

Court records show several U.S. Border Patrol agents converged at the RV park and began questioning the drivers. The agents saw several individuals, some wearing camouflage clothing, trying to hide in the back of each vehicle.

According to a complaint affidavit filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, drivers Eduardo Marin Gomez, Oscar Perez Moncayo and Kevin Corral Ochoa told agents separately they were hired by a man from Juarez, Mexico, to drive an unspecified number of unauthorized migrants from the side of NM Highway 9 to Phoenix, Arizona, for money.

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Corral, a U.S. citizen residing in Juarez, allegedly told investigators he was given car keys and gas money for one of the vehicles involved in the smuggling attempt.

He was instructed to pull into the RV park near Columbus until the lead Ford F-150 notified the drivers if the roads were “hot” or clear of Border Patrol units, the complaint states.

Marin and Gomez, two Juarez residents with lawful border-crossing visas, gave similar stories.

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The drivers are scheduled to appear at a detention hearing May 1 in U.S. federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on charges of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens for profit.
There was no word on whether the lead driver was arrested.