Reports detail drug seizures, gang activity, and illegal crossings—including the capture of individuals from terror prone countries
DEL RIO, Texas—In one week, 22,651 illegal aliens from 40 countries were apprehended in Texas near the U.S.–Mexico border, according to a Nov. 2 law enforcement report issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety and obtained by The Epoch Times.
The reporting week encompassed the seven days from Oct. 27 through Nov. 2, and according to the previous week’s numbers and a report from May, the numbers have been this high for months.
Law enforcement arrested 48 fugitives and 13 gang members. In addition, more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana, 669 pounds of methamphetamine, and 87 pounds of cocaine were seized. Also confiscated were 27 handguns, three long guns, and more than $188,000 in cash.
In the past six months, three separate currency seizures each exceeded $1.5 million.
The Border Operations Sector Assessment reports, labeled “law enforcement sensitive,” are issued weekly to law enforcement personnel and government recipients, but the public is kept in the dark about the extent of border crime and illegal activity in their respective areas. The reports emanate from the Border Security Operations Center, run by the Texas Rangers, which collates information from Border Patrol, as well as state law enforcement and participating local law enforcement.
Just shy of 22,000 illegal aliens were apprehended on average per week in Texas over the past four weeks—68 percent of whom were from countries other than Mexico. Extrapolated for a year, that would mean more than 1.1 million illegal alien apprehensions along the Texas–Mexico border alone. The report doesn’t estimate how many individuals evaded apprehension.
While illegal aliens from Central and South American countries tend to account for most of the apprehensions, the numbers from other nationalities are significant. In the reported week, apprehensions included 57 illegal immigrants from Turkey, 36 from Romania, 26 from Senegal, 14 from Eritrea, eight from China, and three from Uzbekistan.
The U.S. State Department lists four countries as “state sponsors of terrorism”—Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
Although a handful of illegal aliens are caught in Texas each week from the latter three counties, hundreds of Cubans are flooding across the border and claiming asylum. In the week of the report, law enforcement apprehended 610 Cubans entering Texas, and 551 the previous week.
The report includes a section with photos showing where law enforcement is finding drugs and cash concealed in vehicles. It also includes a section that outlines significant recent events in Mexico, including any large group of migrants heading toward the United States border and any cartel activity. In one case, the Mexican army arrested three kidnappers from the Gulf cartel who were holding 25 people in southeast Matamoros, the Mexican city across the border from Brownsville, Texas.
The report states that law enforcement was involved in 61 vehicle pursuits and 55 bailouts (in which a driver stops and the passengers scatter to avoid capture). The actual numbers are likely higher, as statistics from some counties aren’t included in the report.
The Willacy County Sheriff’s Office reported seven incidents of human smuggling within a five-day period. The county sits on a direct smuggling route to Houston, 30 miles north of the border in the Rio Grande Valley. Deputies arrested three human smugglers, turned 16 illegal aliens over to Border Patrol, seized seven vehicles, and were involved in four pursuits and five bailouts.
On Oct. 29, just north of Van Horn, Texas, law enforcement responded to a vehicle rollover that involved five illegal aliens and four other deceased occupants.
In the Big Bend sector, on Oct. 30, a Texas state trooper stopped a Chevrolet Tahoe and arrested the driver, who was under 18, for human smuggling. The driver admitted to being paid $2,000 to pick up the passenger, an illegal alien minor.