Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents last week arrested a child sex offender, 13 gang members, and other undocumented migrants with prior convictions who attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
Last week, CBP agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector arrested Elmer Armando Valenzuela, a Salvadoran undocumented migrant with prior convictions of lewd acts with a child.
Similarly, agents in the same sector stopped a Honduran national that had been sentenced to three years in prison for killing a child in Florida, as well as a Mexican migrant who had an “extensive” criminal record, which included abuse and assault.
A few days later, agents arrested a Salvadoran gang member who had previously served time in prison in the United States. Border Patrol officers also intercepted 12 other migrants belonging to the 18th Street and MS-13 gangs, two of the most powerful and dangerous gangs covering Central America and the U.S.
The large number of encounters with migrants with prior convictions comes as Border Patrol agents are seeing an unprecedented number of undocumented migrants attempting to cross the border.
In Fiscal Year 2022, authorities saw intercepted more than 2.3 million undocumented migrants and estimate that there were nearly 600,000 “gotaways.”
Agents at the border and other law enforcement agencies have been trying to break up the organized smuggling of migrants, which has seen an uptick in recent months. Many smuggling efforts are organized by transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels.
“Transnational Criminal Organizations continue to smuggle migrants, many with gang affiliations and criminal backgrounds”, RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez said in a statement. “I’m so incredibly proud of our Border Patrol Agents for their dedication to the mission of securing the border. Their vigilance has kept these criminal migrants and gang members out of our communities and off the streets.”