Suspected Mexican cartel members fired several rounds across the US-Mexico border Friday, according to Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin, who captured the gunfire on video while embedded with the Texas National Guard in Roma, Texas.
“NEW: ‘Holy sh*t!’ We witnessed tracer rounds from a suspected cartel machine gun being fired from Mexico into the U.S. early this morning while we were embedded with the TX National Guard in Roma, TX. Soldiers tell us the rounds went above one of their observation posts. @FoxNews,” Melugin posted on Twitter along with footage of the moment.
Fox News reported that Melugin called the gunfire “remarkable,” noting that the National Guard troops didn’t know if it was a cartel shootout or an intimidation effort.
Melugin added that Roma, Texas is one of the busiest places at the US-Mexico border for illegal immigration and cartel activity.
“The National Guard here has soldiers all over the place, as well as observation posts all over the place,” Melugin said. “They’re keeping an eye out for runners and human smugglers.”
Melugin also reported that human smugglers have been taunting National Guard troops near the Rio Grande.
“NEW: In multiple instances over the past several days, Texas DPS tells me suspected cartel gunmen involved in human smuggling have stood in & near the Rio Grande in Starr County and taunted TX National Guard soldiers,” Melugin tweeted. “They wear tac vests & have AK47s. Courtesy: @[email protected]”
Several rafts transporting illegal immigrants across the river into the United States were also spotted by Melugin and Texas National Guard.
“In the later night hours, we started seeing a constant stream of these rafts and these human smugglers, and they were bringing across hundreds of family units,” he said.
“You’ll see the smugglers — they weren’t afraid. One guy was shirtless. He was laughing, making jokes to us.”
One of the men who entered Texas on a raft told Melugin that it cost $12,000 to have himself, his wife and his child smuggled into the U.S.
Melugin said the National Guard troops can’t arrest the human smugglers after they reach Texas shores because they fear retaliation.
“They’re worried the other smugglers will take it out on the migrants — potentially flip a raft over and it’ll turn into a rescue operation,” he said.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics, over 1.5 million illegal immigrants have entered the United States since January.