US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents have arrested four Mexicans—all “Dreamers,” or recipients of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program—for smuggling illegal invaders over the border from Mexico, within the last week.
A statement released on the CBP website revealed that in the first incident, the DACA recipient, a 23-year-old male, was attempting to smuggle the two illegal aliens in a Ford Focus on January 31, 2018. The two illegal aliens were identified as being Mexican nationals. The driver was arrested and the vehicle was seized by Border Patrol.
Another CBP statement said that on January 29, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a Mexican national in the DACA program, after he attempted to smuggle four other Mexican nationals into the U.S. on January 29.
Reconnaissance Unit agents discovered the footprints of four subjects illegally entering the US from Mexico near County 13th Street and the Colorado River and communicated their findings to agents in the Targeted Enforcement Unit who observed four subjects getting into a white Ford F-150 in a nearby citrus grove, the statement said.
Agents from both units intercepted the vehicle and performed a vehicle stop. The driver was identified as a 26-year-old male Mexican national DACA recipient from Salinas, California. The other four occupants were all determined to be Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States. The driver was arrested for human smuggling charges, and the four passengers were arrested for immigration violations. The vehicle was seized for forfeiture.
In yet another statement, the CBP said that its agents arrested two men present in the United States under the DACA executive order for their involvement in human smuggling incidents on Jan. 24th and 25th.
Border Patrol agents in east San Diego County arrested two illegal aliens and shortly after observed two suspicious vehicles on Buckman Springs Rd. Agents followed one vehicle, a blue Honda sedan, and conducted an immigration inspection at the United States Border Patrol immigration checkpoint.
Agents questioned the driver, a 22-year-old male Mexican national, who admitted that he was performing scouting duties for a smuggling crew. He also admitted that he was coordinating with another driver of a vehicle to relay information related to Border Patrol operations in the area and the status of the Border Patrol checkpoint to aid in illegal smuggling.
Border Patrol agents learned that the man resides in Riverside County as a DACA recipient. Agents also discovered that the man had successfully participated in alien smuggling on multiple occasions.
The man, in violation of the terms of his DACA status, is currently being held in Department of Homeland Security custody for removal proceedings.
In another incident, agents received a tip from a citizen who observed a suspected smuggling incident near Torrey Pines State Beach on Jan. 24, 2018.
Information related to the suspected vehicle involved was provided to Federal law enforcement partners. Agents observed the vehicle stopped on the side of Interstate 5 near Dairy Mart Rd. at around 12:10 p.m., and conducted an immigration check.
Agents found three men inside the vehicle, the driver, a 20-year-old DACA recipient, his 22-year-old cousin who is a Mexican national illegally residing in the United States, and a 21-year-old Mexican national illegally in the country.
Both the driver and his cousin admitted their involvement with human smuggling in the area. The driver, a beneficiary of DACA which has since expired, is currently being held in Federal custody.
Just a few of the other incidents reported by the CBP over the past week include:
– After agents assigned to the Nogales Station arrested Francisco Lopez-Loyola, a 38-year-old Mexican national for being illegally present in the United States, a records check indicated Lopez had an extraditable warrant from Catawba County, North Carolina for attempted first degree murder. He was processed for immigration violations and turned over to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office for extradition to North Carolina.
– Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro Sector arrested a Southside Players gang member west of Calexico for illegal entry into the United States. Record checks identified the subject as a Mexican National who had two outstanding warrants with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The first warrant was for Property Damage and Vandalism, and the other for Homicide/Murder. Record checks indicated the man is a member of the Southside Players gang from the Los Angeles area.
– CBP officers at the Laredo Port of Entry detained a male Mexican traveling in a commercial bus who attempted to make entry into the United States. The officers discovered that he had an outstanding state warrant for sexual assault-continuous sexual abuse, victim under 14.
The fugitive apprehension occurred on Friday, Feb. 1 at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge. A CBP officer at primary inspection referred Martin Gerardo Perez Garcia, a 41-year-old Mexican citizen, for a secondary examination. After being escorted to secondary, subsequent biometric verification through law enforcement databases confirmed that the subject had an outstanding felony state warrant for sexual assault-continuous sexual abuse, victim under 14 out of Dallas County Sheriff’s Office.
On Jan. 28, an agent assigned to the Comstock Station apprehended Hector Vargas-Pineda, 41, who was in the United States illegally. During processing, agents discovered that Vargas-Pineda was convicted of aggravated sexual assault in Denton County, on May 22, 1997, and was sentenced to serve five years in prison. He was deported to Mexico on Aug. 9, 2002.
In an unrelated incident, on Jan. 30, agents assigned to the Eagle Pass Station apprehended 41-year-old Santos Sanchez-Diaz, who also was illegally present in the United States. During processing, records checks revealed that Sanchez-Diaz was convicted of criminal sexual conduct, a third-degree felony, in Dodge County, Minnesota, on Aug. 16, 1999. He served a portion of his four-year prison sentence before being returned to Mexico on Aug. 15, 2001.
Vargas-Pineda and Sanchez-Diaz both face a charge of 8 USC § 1326 – illegal reentry after deportation – which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Their prior orders of removal will be reinstated.
– CBP agents assigned to the Tucson Station arrested a previously-deported Guatemalan man and discovered he was convicted and incarcerated for crimes against a child. Agents patrolling near Sasabe arrested 23-year-old Henry Velasquez-Lopez for being illegally present in the United States. During processing, agents conducted a records check on Velasquez, which revealed his November 2016 conviction in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for “Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 4th Degree” and “Children- Accosting for Immoral Purposes.” He was sentenced to one year in prison.
Velasquez will remain in federal custody pending prosecution for criminal immigration violations involving re-entry of an aggravated felon.
– Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station arrested a previously-deported Mexican man and discovered he was convicted of multiple felonies including homicide in Arkansas. Agents patrolling near Gila Bend arrested 41-year-old Manuel Marcial-Lopez for being illegally present in the United States. During processing, records checks revealed that Marcial was convicted of negligent homicide in Faulkner County, Arkansas in 2011. Records also revealed Marcial was convicted of second degree burglary in California in 2008.
In the first incident, agents tracked a group of five individuals to a location southwest of Gila Bend, Arizona. Upon arresting the group, agents discovered five backpacks containing more than 200 pounds of marijuana worth more than $100,000.
The second incident occurred near the same location. Agents tracked and apprehended a group of another five individuals attempting to smuggle marijuana into the United States. Agents seized nearly 140 pounds of marijuana found in makeshift backpacks, which is estimated to be worth more than $69,000.