Del Rio, Texas - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested several individuals attempting to smuggle illegal aliens from the countries of Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, and El Salvador.

“Criminal organizations attempt to utilize the holiday season to blend in with the busy traffic coming in and out of our communities,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “I commend our Border Patrol agents for remaining vigilant and continuing to protect our nation’s borders throughout the holidays. I thank the families and friends of our agents for accepting their absences during the holidays and supporting their dedication to duty and service to country.”

On Nov. 29, agents assigned to the Carrizo Springs Station performed a vehicle stop on a 2012 Nissan Versa on Highway 85. After a brief immigration inspection, it was determined that the U.S. citizen driver, an 18-year-old male from San Marcos, was attempting to smuggle five illegal aliens farther into the United States. Further investigation revealed that one of the illegal aliens apprehended was the brush guide for the failed smuggling attempt.

On Nov. 30, Department of Public Safety troopers requested assistance from Border Patrol agents with a vehicle stop of a 2006 Ford Escape on Highway 83, near Crystal City. Responding agents performed an immigration inspection on the occupants of the vehicle and discovered a failed smuggling attempt. The U.S. citizen driver, a 20-year-old female from Houston, was arrested for attempting to smuggle four illegal aliens farther into the United States.

Throughout the holiday weekend, several other failed smuggling attempts were thwarted, resulting in the apprehension of six U.S. citizen smugglers, and 26 illegal aliens.

All suspected smugglers face felony charges under 8 USC 1324, alien smuggling, and if convicted could receive up to 10 years in prison. All illegal aliens are processed in accordance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines.