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Texas Human Smuggling Operation Uncovered: 26 Rescued, 7 Arrested, Sheriff Reports


In southern Texas, authorities say they stopped a group of people from sneaking people into other countries. They helped save 26 people, 11 now in the hospital and arrested 7 suspects.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that the 26 people who were saved had to go through “miserable conditions” on their way to the area.

Authorities don’t know when or where the group may have crossed the border into the US or how long they have been in the country. However, they do know that the victims were taken in a fake truck compartment for at least three hours on Thursday before being taken to a house that didn’t have running water or air conditioning and where buckets were being used as toilets. The sheriff said that investigators also think the house was the site of animal fights in the past.

Salazar told reporters while standing next to the house, “It’s awful in there, and it’s really hot.” “Thank goodness we caught these people before they could pass.”

An 18-year-old woman is in the group; police think she is the youngest victim. There is also a woman from Guatemala who paid about $16,000 to get to that point, Salazar said. The sheriff said that officials still don’t know where the other people in the group are from.

The people who were taken to the hospital had minor burns from the heat, according to the sheriff. On Thursday, it got as hot as 102 degrees Fahrenheit in San Antonio, which is the county center of Bexar County.

Salazar said, “We don’t know if these people crossed the border this morning or if they were already here in a stash house in another part of the state… on this side of the border.” “Right now, we don’t know if they were brought across illegally or not.”

“But once more, this is the fault of the sick groups that are bringing these people across and putting them in danger,” he said.

Two days before Salazar’s news conference, President Joe Biden announced a new executive action that makes it illegal for people who cross the US-Mexico border illegally to ask for refuge after a certain number of days, unless they meet certain conditions.

The measure, which became law on Wednesday, was criticized by leftists and others who said it was similar to things that were done when Trump was president.

On Thursday morning, Bexar County officials were first told that a smuggling operation seemed to be going on. Salazar said that the police found out that the accused smugglers were transporting the group in a “long gooseneck trailer,” which they began to watch.

Salazar said that the more than twenty people were sleeping on a hard mesh inside a “large false compartment.” They had been out in the elements for several hours and had no way to get water. The cars finally pulled up to the house where the victims were taken, the sheriff said.

“Is that trailer…” Salazar said, “You could be standing right next to it and not know that it holds 26 people.” “All right, it drove right by thousands of cars.”

Salazar said that the suspects who were arrested were involved in the plan to smuggle people. He called them “coyotes,” which is a word that is often used to describe people who do this. The sheriff said that as the probe goes on, more people may be arrested.

He also said that police found bulletproof vests and long rifles in a back house and that what happened on Thursday seems to be part of a bigger operation that “has been going on for a while.”

His words were backed up by the fact that US Customs and Border Protection and local and government agencies are all helping with the case.

The sheriff also said that some people ran away when police first arrived at the house where the group was being held on Thursday, but he thinks that everyone is safe.

“Now it’s possible that someone who got away is lying down in the bushes somewhere.” “We would tell people in the area to keep their doors locked. We don’t think there’s anyone still out there, but it’s always possible, so please call us if you see any suspicious behavior or people,” he said.

Source of Information – CNN

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