U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 24 people and seized nearly 2 pounds of fentanyl in a disrupted smuggling operation in Nogales, Arizona, Friday morning.
Tucson Sector agents responded to a request for assistance from the Nogales Police Department Friday morning, to identify undocumented passengers involved in a traffic stop.
Agents determined the lawfully admitted permanent resident driver of a Honda sedan was smuggling two Mexican nationals, both illegally present in the country.
All three individuals were arrested.
After agents secured the scene, they learned human smugglers were holding other undocumented people in a nearby house associated with the Honda.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents, together with Border Patrol agents, visited the residence.
They discovered 21 Mexican nationals inside, all illegally present in the United States. Agents seized nearly 2 pounds of fentanyl also found within the home.
While conducting records checks, agents learned one man in the group had been identified as a “Surenos” street gang member during a previous arrest with immigration officials.
The driver of the Honda was charged with human smuggling, while the gang member will be prosecuted for felony immigration violations.
All others arrested will be processed for immigration violations and expelled from the country under Title 42 authority.
CBP.gov (June 2020) Traffic Stop Leads to Stash House, Drugs, Gang Member