Agents continue to be assaulted, save abandoned children, arrest individuals with outstanding warrants, violent gang members

(The Center Square) – U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas apprehended 90 Chinese nationals illegally entering the U.S. in the Rio Grande Valley on Thursday, a record.

Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Gloria Chavez said it was the greatest number of Chinese apprehended in a single day by RGV agents since 2010, bringing the total number of Chinese nationals apprehended this fiscal year to date to 1,667.

The RGV Sector in Texas leads the U.S. in Chinese apprehensions with 91% of those apprehended being single adults. Apprehensions so far this fiscal year are also a 930% increase compared to the same timeframe last year, she said.

The influx of Chinese foreign nationals creates “a strain on our workforce due to the complexities of the language barrier and lengthens the processing [time],” she said.

The Rio Grande Valley Sector has historically been the busiest along the southwest border. As cartel operatives move smuggling operations west, El Paso and Tucson sectors have recently seen higher numbers.

Rio Grande Valley Sector agents continue to be assaulted by foreign nationals, rescue abandoned children and drowning individuals, and arrest human traffickers and others with outstanding arrest warrants.

Last Wednesday, for example, McAllen agents apprehended a group of foreign nationals after they illegally entered the U.S. by Bentsen State Park in Mission, Texas. Several agents responded to the area after a Honduran national physically assaulted an agent and continued to resist arrest until agents were able to put him in handcuffs, CBP reported.

Later that afternoon, a McAllen Riverine Unit responded to a call from an Air and Marine Operations helicopter about an illegal foreign national who appeared to be drowning while attempting to swim back to Mexico. The crew located the man, extracted him from the river and gave him medical treatment.

Within a 24-hour time period, in separate incidents, agents also rescued several children smuggled into Texas who were abandoned by the riverbank.

Agents also arrested human traffickers and others with outstanding arrest warrants. In one vehicle stop last week in Los Ebanos, Texas, the driver, a Mexican national, and front passenger, a U.S. citizen, were observed picking up several people in an area known for human smuggling. The men were apprehended and the U.S. citizen was turned over to Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office after the agents learned he had a warrant out for his arrest for driving while intoxicated and was on probation for heroin trafficking.

On the same day, agents apprehended a Mexican national with a previous conviction for sexual abuse of a minor in the state of Indiana wanted by the Indianapolis Sheriff’s Office.

On March 16, agents at the Falfurrias checkpoint arrested a U.S. citizen with an active warrant from Webb County for human trafficking and turned over the individual to Brooks County Sheriff’s Office.

On March 17, agents apprehended Mexican and El Salvadoran nationals who were Paisas, MS-13 and Wild Mexicans gang members. The Paisas gang member’s criminal history includes possession of a weapon, cocaine and amphetamine and sentencing to four years’ imprisonment.

In the same week, agents also apprehended an 18th Street gang member from El Salvador and a Mexican national previously sentenced to 20 years for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and manslaughter in 2004.

During the same week, CBP Office of Field Operations officers working at the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry seized nearly $1.5 million worth of cocaine and methamphetamine after stopping a 20-year-old U.S. citizen at a check point.

They uncovered 44 packages containing 102 pounds of alleged cocaine and five bags containing 11 pounds of alleged methamphetamine hidden inside the vehicle. The narcotics’ combined estimated street value totaled $1,471,311.

Carlos Rodriguez, port director of the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry, said this kind of seizure was “typical.”

“This significant poly-drug load of cocaine and methamphetamine is typical of what we have been seeing in recent months,” he said. “It underscores the seriousness of the drug threat we face and the resolve of our officers to utilize their training, experience and technology to meet that threat head on.”

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