Photo: Human Smugglers Use Private Plane to Transport Immigrants Through Texas
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents teamed up with Border Patrol in Texas where BP agents say a man attempted to charter a private plane to transport illegal immigrants from safe houses to San Antonio.
On Wednesday, ICE and Border Patrol conducted a routine check of a private plane at McAllen-Miller International Airport and spoke with its five passengers. The passengers confessed to being in the country illegal, saying they had been brought to the airport by a man named Luis Gallegos Avila. The immigrants were told say they were U.S. citizens should they be asked while boarding the plane.
According to a criminal complaint, “Gallegos assured the undocumented immigrants that everything would be fine, and there would be no problems at the airport.”
The five Mexican immigrants told authorities they had crossed into the U.S. via the Rio Grande, and were picked up by Gallegos Avila and taken to various stash houses where they stayed until he picked them up around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Federal authorities took Gallegos Avila into custody after he was spotted dropping the immigrants off at the airport at around 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.