Thursday, June 19, 2014

163 alien smugglers arrested during HSI's 'Southern Crossing' operation

More than 160 alien smugglers were arrested by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) during a monthlong initiative along the U.S. southwest border that ended May 31, according to ICE. "Operation Southern Crossing" took place May 1-31, throughout the five HSI areas of responsibility along the southern border: Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Phoenix and San Diego. However, due to the significant levels of human smuggling occurring near and through Texas' Rio Grande Valley, this initiative focused heavily on HSI's investigations and enforcement actions in southeast Texas. During the initiative, HSI special agents made 163 criminal arrests, obtained 60 indictments and 45 convictions. The initiative also netted the seizure of 29 vehicles, nine firearms and more than $35,000 in illicit proceeds. During Operation Southern Crossing, HSI emphasized its ongoing efforts to disrupt and dismantle the most dangerous and prolific Human Smuggling Organizations (HSOs) and stem the growing crime and violence associated with human smuggling activities...more

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