One of the rescues occurred in Maverick County in Eagle Pass, Texas, where troopers found a five-year-old girl from Honduras who was smuggled into Texas by three adult women not related to her. The women found the girl in Piedras Negras, Mexico, and they brought her with them as they crossed illegally into Texas between the ports of entry.
Authorities reported that the girl was being brought to reunite with her mother, but the latter had died three days prior. The girl told troopers that her father was still in Honduras and she was turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP).
Another rescue took place during a traffic stop on a major local smuggling route in neighboring Kinney County. Troopers pulled over the driver of a black GMC Sierra, a Mexican national who claimed that he was coming from Houston to pick up some of his "friends."
The trooper noticed that he had six passengers in the rear area of the truck. Conversations with the driver revealed that they were all in America illegally, including two children. The driver also admitted that someone from Mexico texted him an address where he was to pick up a group of people who had illegally entered Texas.
The driver said he wasn't being paid, but smugglers normally receive at least several thousand dollars per person depending on their destination. Houston is the primary human trafficking hub in Texas. (Related: Smuggling network caught using fake FedEx vans to smuggle migrants past U.S. border patrol checkpoints.)
DPS troopers have also arrested criminals, including sex offenders and those in possession of child pornography.
One DPS brush team helped arrest a Mexican national and coyote who was in America illegally after he guided four people across the Rio Grande River into Texas.
The coyote's phone contained pictures and videos of child pornography. The Texas Rangers then took over the case, and the Mexican national was charged with possession or promotion of child pornography.
DPS troopers have also identified MS-13 gang members who are trying to blend in with family units as they illegally cross into the Lone Star State.
In a recent case, DPS Criminal Investigations Division troopers assisted Border Patrol agents with a large family group after they illegally crossed the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass. They noticed an adult male from El Salvador trying to hide himself in the group and arrested him.
Facial recognition identified the man as a possible national security threat with links to transnational organized crime. Data also revealed that he was an MS-13 gang member with eight prior apprehensions and a street-level drug dealer. The man was eventually surrendered to the USBP.
According to data from Governor Greg Abbott's office, officers have caught more than 401,900 illegal foreign nationals and made more than 32,400 criminal arrests since Operation Lone Star was launched in 2021.
More than 29,600 felony charges have been reported through the operation. These numbers are in addition to record arrests of noncitizens at ports of entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.
According to CBP enforcement data, the majority of people with criminal convictions who are being arrested have been caught at ports of entry, which is where OFO agents work.
Data shows that for the fiscal year to date, OFO agents have apprehended more than 15,000 people with criminal convictions, which has increased from roughly 6,500 in fiscal year 2021. In fiscal year 2022, they arrested at least 17,000 people.
If the current trajectory continues, Office of Field Operations (OFO) agents are on track for the current fiscal year to arrest the greatest number of illegal foreign nationals with criminal convictions in recorded history.
Meanwhile, Border Patrol apprehensions of gang members and weapons seizures have decreased significantly. According to a former border chief, those numbers are down because fewer agents are in the field, especially between ports of entry, to conduct seizures and apprehensions.
Watch the video below to learn about child trafficking in Nebraska.
This video is from the Life, Liberty and Justice channel on Brighteon.com.