A Border Patrol agent drives down to the beach. Photo by Chris Stone

After encountering a series of unusually large groups of Brazilian and Venezuelan migrants in the San Diego Sector of the border, Border Patrol agents in partnership with Mexican authorities recently targeted the smugglers responsible.

The Border Patrol on Friday released information about the anti-smuggling operation and recent encounters with large groups.

The operation on Nov. 4 led to the arrest of two Mexican citizens for human smuggling, the seizure of a box truck, and the rescue of 75 individuals from Brazil, Venezuela and Portugal who were locked inside of the vehicle.

“Partnerships with the government of Mexico continue to play a vital role in combating smugglers who exploit individuals for monetary gain,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.  “We thank them for their support and will continue our joint-effort to bring these criminals to justice.”

Over the last several weeks, agents have encountered an increasing number of large migrant groups primarily from Brazil and Venezuela. Among the incidents:

  • Oct. 23 – Agents observed a group of 72 migrants illegally enter through a drainage tube three miles west of the San Ysidro crossing.
  • Oct. 26 – Agents encountered two groups of migrants totaling 155 people who entered through a compromised sewer grate.
  • Oct. 27 – Agents observed a box truck dropping off a group of 67 people on the south side of the border fence who then entered through a compromised drainage tube.
  • Between Oct. 28 and Nov. 9 – Agents apprehended five groups numbering 43, 49, 73, 84 and 93 people in size.
Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.