Additional Border Patrol agents brought to RGV Sector
POSTED: Monday, April 28, 2014 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 8:46am
MCALLEN, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — As part of the South Texas Campaign, more than 100 Border Patrol agents are in the Rio Grande Valley to help address the growing number of drug and human smuggling cases in the area.
115 agents were brought into the RGV sector nearly one month ago to increase security at the border as the drug trafficking and human smuggling numbers continue to climb.
"To date we've seen about 122,000 apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley area," said Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz. "We have almost 400 thousand pounds of marijuana seized."
Immigration traffic in the Valley continues to rise. This afternoon alone, there were about 150 undocumented people found in immigrant stash houses in the upper Valley. Although it may seem like a large number, that's an average amount per day, according to Border Patrol officials.
Most of the immigrants are from Central American countries--75% of undocumented individuals come from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and other Central American countries.
The reinforced man power is being applied in key areas to limit the amount of human smuggling.
"We're really focused on the targeting," explained Ortiz. "We're really trying to go after the smugglers, the coordinators, the folks that are really facilitating the smuggling activity out here. That's our focus."
Many of the agents are from duty stations in Arizona, California, and other parts of Texas. The agents are on 35-day cycles and can either go back to their previous station or continue working in the RGV sector. While some will return to their original stations, additional agents will be rotating in to take their place.
"We do plan to bring on additional agents," Ortiz said. "In fact, we entered 28 new agents last week on duty, and so our plan is to certainly increase the staffing commensurate with the threat level down here."
The additional rotation of agents is funded until the end of the fiscal year, which ends in September.