RAYMONDVILLE, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol officials have released new information after a traffic stop near the border resulted in the discovery of 86 immigrants inside a tractor-trailer.
A concerned citizen notified Border Patrol agents and Texas DPS officials about possible smuggling activity involving a tractor-trailer in the Rio Grande Valley.
Officials identified the trailer, and DPS officers conducted a traffic stop off Highway 77 in Raymondville, where they found the immigrants inside the trailer, according to a Border Patrol press release.
Some of the immigrants made their way out through the roof of the trailer and were taken into custody, according to a Border Patrol press release.
Multiple law enforcement agencies assisted with the investigation, and emergency medical services were also on scene to provide medical assistance.
Two people were taken to hospitals to be treated for dehydration.
“With the heat, it was heat exhaustion and dehydration that was the primary concern and complaint from the patients that we treated," said Frank Torres, of Willacy County EMS.
The immigrants were determined to be from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua, the release said.
They will be processed accordingly, and the case was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations. The stop was part of Operation Big Rig.
“Operation Big Rig is a call for action to be taken by anyone who witnesses illicit activity, specifically involving tractor-trailers,” said Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. “This incident demonstrates precisely what should be done to prevent what could be a deadly situation.”
The driver and the passenger of the truck were arrested. The public is advised to report suspicious activity by calling 800-863-9382.