What You Need To Know:
- Two separate stash houses near El Paso were discovered by the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Border Patrol agents.
- A total of 146 illegal immigrants were found, with migrants from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
- Authorities have charged the managers of the stash houses with harboring illegal aliens, and the presence of a Santa Muerte shrine highlights the connection between cross-border human smuggling and Mexico’s drug cartels.
Over the weekend, law enforcement agents from the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Border Patrol discovered two stash houses in the El Paso area containing over 140 illegal immigrants.
The first house was found by Texas DPS special agents who received information on a potential stash house while conducting surveillance with Border Patrol agents. The search resulted in a total of 95 migrants, including 74 males and 19 females, as well as 2 minors.
All migrants were referred to Border Patrol, and the manager of the house was charged federally with harboring illegal aliens.
In a separate operation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Sector Chief Anthony “Scott” Good reported that Ysleta Station Anti-Smuggling Units foiled a smuggling scheme involving 51 migrants located inside a local residence.
The migrants in that stash house were from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala and were found in good health.
These discoveries follow the recent discovery of another stash house near El Paso with 23 migrants from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Authorities noted an elaborate Santa Muerte shrine inside the home, a female skeletal figure wearing a long robe with a scythe in one hand and the world in another.
The shrine is reportedly associated with Mexican drug cartel members who pray to it for their protection. The presence of the shrine highlights the connection between cross-border human smuggling and Mexico’s drug cartels.
According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Operation Lone Star has led to over 360,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 26,000 criminal arrests, with more than 24,000 felony charges reported since its inception.
DPS has seized over 380 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission. Abbott’s office stated that “Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps left by the Biden administration’s refusal to secure the border.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas once again recently refused to call the surge of migrants at the southern border a “crisis.”