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Two US soldiers arrested for smuggling migrants across Texas-Mexico border

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers' boots. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Ken Scar)
July 05, 2023

Two soldiers were arrested in June for smuggling migrants across the Texas-Mexico border into the United States, local law enforcement officials said.

On June 18, Spc. Desman Braxton, 22, and Sgt. Diamond Lampton, 27, were arrested in Kinney County, Texas, while traveling down a road frequently taken to avoid U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoints, county spokesman Matt Benacci said, according to Stars and Stripes.

Braxton is assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio as an active-duty nutrition care specialist and Lampton is a cannon crewmember with the Louisiana National Guard, their service records show.

Both soldiers were arrested on Ranch Road 674, which commonly used for smuggling efforts. During a routine traffic stop, Braxton told authorities that the individual in her vehicle was her friend, but police quickly determined the “friend” was an illegal immigrant from Ecuador, Benacci said.

In a separate incident, police tried stopping a vehicle on the same road, but the driver – later identified as Lampton – slowed down just enough to let two apparent illegal immigrants out before speeding away.

Authorities pursued Lampton, who eventually crashed. The people who got out of her vehicle were not found, Benacci noted.

Both service members were charged with smuggling people, a felony offense in Texas. Benacci said both soldier were released with court dates due to lack of jail space.

Last month, dozens of illegal immigrants arrived in Los Angeles, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who bussed the migrants to the so-called “sanctuary city.”

“Texas’ small border towns remain overwhelmed and overrun by the thousands of people illegally crossing into Texas from Mexico because of President Biden’s refusal to secure the border,” Abbott said in a statement. “Los Angeles is a major city that migrants seek to go to, particularly now that its city leaders approved its self-declared sanctuary city status. Our border communities are on the frontlines of President Biden’s border crisis, and Texas will continue providing this much-needed relief until he steps up to do his job and secure the border.”

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.