Drone Video Shows Smugglers Picking Up Migrants 80 Miles North of Border in Texas

by BOB PRICE 25 Jun 2021

Video from a Border Patrol Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) shows a group of migrants being picked up by a human smuggler in Brooks County, Texas. The migrants survived a long march around the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint. More than 50 migrants attempting this march have been found dead so far this year.

Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings tweeted a video from an sUAS taken in a remote area in Brooks County. The video shows a group of at least five migrants coming out of the brush and rushing toward an approaching human smuggler vehicle.

Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings

Eye in the sky tracks smugglers in Brooks CO, TX.Agents operating a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) catch smugglers in the act of moving migrants north of the Falfurrias USBP Checkpoint. USBP continues integrating new technologies into its mission to secure the border.


9:52 PM · Jun 24, 2021

The migrants load up into the vehicle and the driver quickly drives away. Chief Hastings did not disclose if Border Patrol agents or other law enforcement resources in the area found the vehicle.

Smuggled migrants are dropped off on the south side of Brooks County and marched around the Falfurrias checkpoint. The heat, rattlesnakes, cactus, and the ultra-soft sand of the terrain make the march extremely dangerous.

“So far this year, our deputies recovered the bodies or skeletal remains of 54 people who died while attempting to circumvent the Falfurrias checkpoint on Highway 281,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. “The migrants in this video are very lucky they survived. Many do not.”

Martinez said the human smugglers send them off on these tracks with very little food and water. The march can take days to complete.

“If the people being smuggled become dehydrated, overheated, injured, exhausted, or for any other reason cannot keep up, the smugglers simply abandoned them and leave them to die,” Sheriff Martinez said. “The sand that makes up our soil is very soft and makes marching a mile feel like three or four.”

Border Patrol agents in South Texas are increasing their use of drone technology to monitor illegal border crossings and human smuggling activity, Breitbart Texas

In February, Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin Skero tweeted images from an sUAS showing multiple groups of migrants attempting to avoid apprehension by agents.

Chief Patrol Agent Austin Skero

Carrizo Springs Station sUAS Pilots are leading the way! The station’s small team of ‘drone’ pilots have assisted in over 60 apprehensions in approximately 48 hours. These arrests were the result of coordination with fellow agents and included two groups of more than 20.

5:29 PM · Feb 23, 2021

The use of the drones enables Border Patrol agents to more efficiently cover their areas of responsibility, officials previously told Breitbart. The technology enables agents the opportunity to interdict smuggling attempts and save the lives of migrants who might otherwise be lost.