Human Smugglers Taking to the Air

Posted: Jun 22, 2012 4:41 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2012 5:50 PM

WESLACO - Homeland Security agents are investigating after five illegal immigrants were arrested before boarding an airplane at a local airport.

Officials said the immigrants were trying to board a chartered plane.

Experts said smuggling immigrants aboard flights is not a new tactic, but it is a pricey endeavor that gaining favor among smugglers.

George Garret, with Weslaco Emergency Management, said he has witnessed smugglers trying to sneak immigrants into airplanes. Last week he spotted a group take off from Weslaco. The immigrants were arrested when they arrived in Corpus Christi.

"The airplane flew in here and the immediately walked out and got into the plane. The other person drove away," Garret said. "That's a red flag to us."

The same is happening at McAllen Miller International Airport where Border Patrol agents arrested five immigrants trying to board a private plane this week.

Garret said smugglers now rent airplanes in McAllen and fly them to Weslaco where they pick up groups of illegal immigrants.

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