A recent report from KXAN News Austin has documented multiple recent altercations Border Patrol units have had with smugglers, mostly Americans, transferring illegal aliens into New Mexico through the southern border.
In one case reported by the outlet, a black Mazda CX-5 was stopped by agents in Hidalgo County after failing to stop for a speeding violation on March 14. The vehicle, manned by U.S. citizen Francisco Perez Mercado, sped onto Interstate 10 until crashing into another car in Lordsburg.
Perez Mercado’s companion Christina Lynn James-Blake and two of the illegal aliens being smuggled were airlifted to the hospital.
“James-Blake allegedly told Homeland Security investigators that she availed her vehicle to the smugglers for $1,000. She said she and Perez picked up Mexican and Guatemalan migrants at a Douglas, Arizona, motel and were to drive them to Phoenix, taking a detour through Southwestern New Mexico to avoid highway checkpoints…. Migrant apprehensions remain steady along Southwest border One of the migrants told investigators smugglers charged him $8,000 to get him across the border and past highway checkpoints,” reported KXAN.
On February 28, an agent stationed at the Arizona-New Mexico border spotted a passenger inside a blue Hyundai duck, which led to the questioning of the driver, U.S. citizen Gabriel Scott. He sped up amid being questioned and was later apprehended with a tire-deflation device.
“Scott allegedly volunteered that he picked up the migrants in Nogales, Arizona, and hid two of them in the trunk for more than three hours. Scott said he was recruited by smugglers through an ad on Craigslist for an undisclosed amount of money, court records show,” the outlet reported.
On the morning of March 16, a Las Cruces-area Border Patrol agent spotted a dark Dodge Challenger following a gold Jeep with its lights off. As the caravan approached a Border Patrol checkpoint, the Challenger revved past traffic and was later apprehended on New Mexico Highway 185 after two miles of pursuit. The gold Jeep has not yet been located, but the driver of the Challenger, Jorge Luis Freyre, told investigators he belonged to the Chuco Tango gang.
Another caravan situation happened near New Mexico’s Antelope Wells point of entry, where a white Chevrolet Silverado and a 2006 Honda Pilot refused to yield and were later stopped by tire-deflation devices.
Seven illegal migrants were apprehended wearing camouflage clothing in the Silverado and three in the Pilot.
“The vehicles eventually stopped, and border agents apprehended seven migrants wearing camouflage clothing inside the Silverado and three inside the Honda Pilot. All were from Mexico. One driver, Marco Garcia Acevedo, allegedly said he was hired through WhatsApp to transport migrants; driver Carlos Eduardo Cruz Guzman said he is an Arizona resident who entered the United States illegally, court documents show.”
On February 27, Matthew Paul Anderson of Phoenix was apprehended driving his SUV on New Mexico Highway 80, where he surrendered, revealing his contract to smuggle three illegal aliens from Mexico via one of his contacts. He allegedly said to the Border Patrol agent, “You got me, man.”
U.S. Border Patrol said in a statement, “Arrested smugglers intercepted in recent smuggling schemes have been primarily from Mexico and the United States. However, they have also come from other countries such as Venezuela, Honduras and Cuba.”