DPS officers in Texas continue to apprehend individuals involved in human smuggling

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers are actively apprehending human smugglers at the border, with their most recent success involving two women from Tennessee. These individuals had driven to Uvalde County, Texas, in an attempt to smuggle illegal foreign nationals from the border. Their plan was to meet up at a private ranch for this illegal operation.

According to a statement posted on social media by Lt. Christ Olivarez, DPS troopers witnessed a Buick Encore driver entering a ranch in Uvalde County without the owner’s consent on May 11. The troopers then noticed that two illegal foreign nationals were picked up on the property and concealed inside the vehicle.

As the troopers arrived at the property, they inquired about the driver and her passenger’s place of origin. The response they received was, “We are from Tennessee.”

Ana Luna, a resident of Lebanon, Tennessee, and Erika Melgar, hailing from La Vergne, Tennessee, have been apprehended and accused of engaging in the smuggling of individuals and committing criminal trespass. Luna admitted to the troopers that they had been promised a payment of $2,000 for transporting the men, whom they had never met before, in their vehicle, as per Olivarez’s statement.

The troopers apprehended and filed charges against both illegal foreign nationals for criminal trespass. One of them had concealed themselves under the rear floorboard, while the other was found hidden among the luggage in the hatch area of the vehicle.

On May 14, 2024, a tweet from @TxDPS reported that Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers had noticed a group of female smugglers attempting to enter a ranch in Uvalde County. The troopers observed a Buick Encore vehicle as it entered the ranch without permission.

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On May 10, a human smuggler was apprehended in Val Verde County while trying to escape capture. The individual had resorted to using a stolen truck, which resulted in significant property damage during the incident.

According to authorities, a man named Carlos Lombardich-Villalobos, who is believed to be involved in smuggling activities, led law enforcement on a wild chase. The incident took place in Lockhart, Texas, where Lombardich-Villalobos drove through several intersections before crashing into a tree and breaking through a ranch fence. As a result, both he and multiple illegal foreign nationals who were in the vehicle with him fled on foot.

Texas DPS aircraft worked together with troopers on the ground to locate Villalobos, with the ultimate aim of apprehending the smuggler. Their efforts proved successful as they managed to apprehend him and subsequently charged him with various offences, including smuggling of persons, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, deadly conduct, evading arrest, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The authorities also discovered that the Dodge Ram he crashed had been stolen from Bastrop, Texas.

The troopers captured six foreign nationals who were in the country illegally and handed them over to Border Patrol.

A smuggler driving a stolen truck successfully evaded the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) but eventually crashed into a tree in Val Verde County. The incident occurred on May 10th when Carlos Lombardich-Villalobos, a resident of Lockhart, Texas, recklessly maneuvered through several intersections in an attempt to escape the pursuing troopers. Lieutenant Chris Olivarez shared a video of the incident on Twitter, showcasing the smuggler’s daring evasion and subsequent crash.

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During the week ending on May 10, DPS officers were able to make a staggering 197 criminal trespass arrests solely in Maverick County.

In Maverick County, law enforcement successfully apprehended a Venezuelan national who was in the country illegally and driving a stolen vehicle from San Antonio. This individual had a warrant for murder in the Virgin Islands.

Human smugglers in Hidalgo County were relentlessly pursued and apprehended, even though a few managed to escape back to Mexico by paddling across the Rio Grande River in an inflatable raft.

In Webb County, law enforcement officers persisted in their efforts to apprehend smugglers and individuals fleeing from vehicles, darting through residential areas in an attempt to evade capture.

During a recent incident, law enforcement officers engaged in a high-speed pursuit of a Chevrolet Silverado on I-35. The driver, identified as a Hispanic male from Laredo, Texas, resorted to driving against traffic in an attempt to evade the troopers. After a while, the driver finally pulled over and fled the scene along with a group of Mexican nationals who had entered the country unlawfully and were picked up by him. It is worth noting that they dispersed in various directions, including towards a nearby residential area, as confirmed by the authorities.

U.S. Border Patrol agents played a crucial role in finding and capturing seven Mexican individuals who had illegally entered the country. Hernandez, the main suspect, was taken into custody and now faces charges of smuggling people and evading arrest.

High-speed vehicle pursuits pose a significant danger and can potentially jeopardize the safety of residents, commuters, and law enforcement officers alike. When smugglers engage in these pursuits, they often drive recklessly, including driving into oncoming traffic. The troopers, who are committed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star, pursue these individuals without knowing their true identity or criminal history. This highlights the risks they are willing to take in order to ensure public safety.

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According to the latest data from the governor’s office, OLS officers have apprehended over 510,600 illegal foreign nationals and made more than 42,500 criminal arrests since the launch of OLS three years ago. These arrests have resulted in more than 37,700 felony charges.

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