EL PASO, Texas — Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and agents with U.S. Border Patrol arrested 18 alien smugglers and seized cash, vehicles and more than 1,000 lbs. of marijuana last month in a joint effort.
Special agents assigned to HSI El Paso’s human smuggling group and Border Patrol agents, who are part of HSI’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), worked together to identify, locate and arrest smugglers operating alien smuggling organizations in southern New Mexico and the El Paso area.
The following two U.S. citizens are among the alien smugglers who were arrested and charged with alien smuggling:
- Elias Serrano, 42, with prior convictions for aggravated stalking, kidnapping, possessing a deadly weapon and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute; and
- Jesus Briseno, 25, with prior convictions for escape from custody, possessing marijuana, assault/causing injury to family member, and driving while intoxicated.
Additionally, agents arrested 117 illegal aliens, which included the following criminal aliens:
- a 34-year-old Guatemalan with an outstanding warrant out of Florida for driving under the influence, and also charged with illegally re-entering the U.S. after deportation;
- a 30-year-old Mexican with ties to a Mexican drug cartel was arrested for fraud and misuse of visas; and
- a 32-year-old Mexican with convictions for child endangerment and driving while intoxicated, was arrested for illegally re-entering the U.S. after deportation.
The monthlong enforcement action resulted in the arrest of illegal aliens in three area stash houses from the following countries: Mexico (93), Guatemala (12), Honduras (6), Brazil (3), El Salvador (2) and Peru (1). The seizures included nine vehicles, three tractor-trailers and $20,000 in U.S and Mexican currency.
“This is a great example of the dedication and cooperation amongst area law enforcement agencies working towards the shared goals of securing our borders, protecting our local communities and our nation,” said Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem, U.S. Border Patrol-El Paso Sector.