VAN HORN, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents detailed late Tuesday how they uncovered a human smuggling operation in Van Horn and rescued over 30 migrants "who were close to perishing due to excessive heat."
Agents, acting on a tip last Thursday night, found a locked U-Haul truck near the McDonald's restaurant in Van Horn and during a search discovered 33 people crammed into the cargo space with no fresh air as the temperature hovered near 100 degrees.
Officials said all the migrants suffered from various heat-related illness; some were treated for simple dehydration - while at least a dozen required hospitalization. Fortunately, agents said, none of the migrants died.
“Had our heroic agents not been able to free these trapped undocumented migrants, we could have seen 33 miserable deaths in this event,” said the Border Patrol's Big Bend Sector Chief Sean McGoffin. “Smugglers do not care what type of misery they put people through as they take their money.”
Homeland Security investigators were working to identify the smugglers for prosecution.