Dangerous Act by Smuggler Leads to Border Patrol Rescue

Release Date: September 8, 2020

LAREDO, TEXAS – Border Patrol agents assigned to the Laredo South Station (LRS) and the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) unit rescued several individuals after a smuggler’s dangerous act in El Cenizo, Texas.

The incident began during the late night of September 6, when the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) attempted a vehicle stop on a Toyota Camry on United States Highway 83.

The driver of the vehicle failed to yield and led DPS on a vehicle pursuit. DPS requested assistance from LRS agents who responded, along with air support from Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO). AMO kept visual of the vehicle as it traveled through the town of El Cenizo and splashed into the Rio Grande River.

AMO pilot was able to observe the driver exit the sinking vehicle and swim to Mexico, abandoning four individuals in the car. The four managed to get out of the sinking car and onto its roof. LRS, BORSTAR, and Mobile Response Team agents arrived on scene and quickly rescued the individuals.

Once on land, they were medically evaluated by Emergency Medical Services. None required medical treatment and were determined to be citizens of Guatemala illegally in the United States. They were taken into custody by Border Patrol. BORSTAR agents further made certain that no one else remained trapped in the submerged vehicle, to include its trunk. DPS will subsequently recover and seize the vehicle.

This callous and dangerous act is another example of the lack of regard human smugglers have for those they exploit for profit. Despite the threat of the global pandemic, agents of the Laredo Sector are committed to their continued collaboration with their law enforcement partners to stop criminal acts and keep our communities safe. The Vision of the Laredo Sector is to enhance the Nation’s security through innovation, intelligence, collaboration, and community trust.