Posted: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 10:10 pm

By MARK REAGAN Staff Writer
Border Patrol agents last Thursday in Brownsville arrested five people they accuse of trafficking and harboring undocumented immigrants.

Alejandra Sarahi-Castaneda, Edgar Julian Sauceda, Kelvin Neal Rangel, Jeremy Saenz and Jesus Erasmo Alaniz-Garcia all made first appearances in federal court Monday on the charges. The criminal complaint against the suspects was filed Saturday, court records show.

According to that document, Border Patrol agents received information Jan. 11 about a possible stash house at an apartment complex in Brownsville, which ultimately resulted in the arrests 14 days later.

Federal agents set up surveillance Jan. 12 and, on Jan. 24, the agents noticed one of the suspects removing license plates from three vehicles at the residence and replacing them with paper tags, a common tactic used by smugglers to evade law enforcement, according to the criminal complaint.

One day later, the agents observed Saenz getting into a Mitsubishi Montero and leaving the apartment complex, and they followed him to the H-E-B on Southmost Boulevard, court documents show. According to the criminal complaint, Saenz parked the Mitsubishi Montero next to a black Ford Focus, which was driven by Alaniz-Garcia.

The Border Patrol investigators, who were shadowing Saenz, reported seeing four people exiting the Ford Focus and getting into the vehicle driven by Saenz, court documents show.