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ICE, Border Patrol arrest 57 in smuggling scheme linked to migrant stash house

Border patrol vehicles parked on a levy near the Rio Grande, where they constantly patrol for people illegally crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
September 26, 2020

U.S. Border Patrol and ICE agents found 48 undocumented migrants at a crowded stash house last weekend in Chaparral, New Mexico, officials said Wednesday.

The Chaparral stash house was discovered after Border Patrol agents arrested seven undocumented migrants in what was described as a smuggling scheme near the El Paso International Airport, officials said.

A suspected smuggler and his wife were arrested along with 48 migrants from Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, the Border Patrol said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officers and ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents also took part in the bust.

A total of 57 people were arrested. Names and the address of the home were not disclosed.

Chaparral is just north of El Paso, across the New Mexico state line.

The Chaparral stash house discovery followed a bust in which 32 migrants were found in a Lower Valley apartment last month.

The Lower Valley case also was linked to a migrant smuggling scheme near the airport. Details on the scheme have not been disclosed.

The case is at least the third large stash house bust after Border Patrol agents found 17 migrants in an East Side home on July 31.

“This incident demonstrates the continued exploitation by transnational criminal organizations who repeatedly use humans for profit regardless of the inherent risks including the potential for the spread of COVID-19 during the ongoing pandemic,” El Paso Sector Border Patrol Chief Gloria I. Chavez said in a statement.


© 2020 the El Paso Times