CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- A sign found hanging this week from a pedestrian bridge near the Rio Grande in Juarez carried a "warning" directed at El Paso-based U.S. Border Patrol agents, according to a report from Newsweek.
"Bullets can also cross the river and the (border) wall," read the sign's message in Spanish.
It has since been removed by Mexican authorities who indicated it was posted by Juraez cartels involved in human smuggling operations across the U.S.-Mexico border, which are increasingly being disrupted by border agents assigned to the El Paso sector.
In a statement to Newsweek, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they were not taking the threat lightly.
"CBP is aware of the threat and the matter has been referred to the appropriate investigative entities. As with any threat made against CBP personnel, it will be handled accordingly and not taken lightly. Any threats made, or harm that results of the threats will be fully investigated, with the respective violators being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The referenced threat is a reminder that members of transnational criminal organizations will stop at nothing to further their exploitation of those being smuggled into the United States, to include not only harming their victims, but threatening U.S. federal law enforcement officers when their illicit activities are threatened."
The Border Patrol's increasingly aggressive efforts to combat smugglers was noticeable Saturday when CBP officials disclosed to ABC-7 that agents had located 134 migrants inside three separate stash houses in the El Paso area, in addition to seizing $600,000 worth of smuggled methamphetamine in just the last 48 hours.