EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — There has been a large increase in stash houses being busted in the Rio Grande Valley.
In the last 10 days, there have been 10 stash houses busted throughout Rio Grande Valley neighborhoods.
Agents say the month of August is the busiest they’ve had for the entire fiscal year.
“It’s the highest we’ve seen this physical year with over 10,000 apprehensions in August,” said Chief Brian Hastings, who leads the U.S. Border Patrol, Rio Grande Valley sector.
Border Patrol and neighboring law enforcement agencies, already disrupted more than 133 stash houses this year, with 32 of them being dismantled in August alone.
“The concern with that is a lot of people in a very tight often times combined quarters without any type of PPE , whatsoever and with the pandemic we’re concerned with the amount of people we’re seeing inside stash houses right now,” said Hastings.
However, inside these houses aren’t just undocumented immigrants, but plenty of weapons and drugs.
CBP says the smuggling organizations are targeting people younger and younger.
“We see the use of juveniles more and more so because it’s harder to prosecute juveniles and the criminal organization element knows that so they specifically target juveniles to do that work and we see this time and time again with foot guides and care takers,” said Hastings.
Border Patrol is now putting extra resources on the field to try and catch everyone that is trying to get away.
“Absolute priority. We’re doing everything we can do catch every “gotaway” because of the risk of the current pandemic,” said Chief Hastings.