ICE Agents Hit Paydirt in Massive Sting Operation


Cue the outrage: Immigration and Customs Enforcement has just made a huge bust in two border states.

According to Fox News, 18 human smugglers and 117 illegal immigrants were detained in raids on safe houses in El Paso, Texas, and the southern part of New Mexico.

The raids happened last month, but were only announced via a statement from ICE on Friday.

“Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and agents with U.S. Border Patrol arrested 18 alien smugglers and seized cash, vehicles and more than 1,000 lbs. of marijuana last month in a joint effort,” the statement read.

“Special agents assigned to HSI El Paso’s human smuggling group and Border Patrol agents, who are part of HSI’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), worked together to identify, locate and arrest smugglers operating alien smuggling organizations in southern New Mexico and the El Paso area.”

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“The monthlong enforcement action resulted in the arrest of illegal aliens in three area stash houses from the following countries: Mexico (93), Guatemala (12), Honduras (6), Brazil (3), El Salvador (2) and Peru (1). The seizures included nine vehicles, three tractor-trailers and $20,000 in U.S and Mexican currency.”

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to vigorously pursue members of transnational criminal networks that exploit and endanger people they smuggle into our country,” Jack P. Staton, the special agent in charge of HSI El Paso, is quoted as saying in the statement.

“These smugglers are driven by human greed and heartlessness.  HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, such as Border Patrol, to maintain the integrity of our border and nation’s immigration laws.”

“This is a great example of the dedication and cooperation amongst area law enforcement agencies working towards the shared goals of securing our borders, protecting our local communities and our nation,” Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem of the U.S. Border Patrol-El Paso Sector added.

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Two U.S. citizens were among the smugglers arrested. Elias Serrano, 42, had prior offenses for aggravated stalking, kidnapping, possessing a deadly weapon and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. Jesus Briseno, who is 25, had previously been convicted of escape from custody, possessing marijuana, assault/causing injury to family member and driving while intoxicated.

In addition, several of the 117 illegal aliens detained had prior convictions or outstanding warrants for either child endangerment and/or driving while intoxicated.

One was arrested for fraud and misuse of visas and another for entering the U.S. after deportation.

Just so we’re clear, this is what we’re dealing with when it comes to illegal immigration. Opposition to it isn’t just driven by racism or for yearning for a bygone era where America was more homogenous. What we’re dealing with is human smugglers who traffic individuals, usually in dangerous conditions.

These smugglers are typically with cartels; Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mike Friel told CNN that the cartels “have a stranglehold on the Mexican side of the border and control much of the land” in July of 2017, after 10 illegal immigrants died in the back of a semi truck when they had no air to breathe.

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“There are very few people who attempt to cross on their own,” Friel told CNN, adding that few would “risk going against the cartel.”

These are the same cartels, by the way, which are responsible for drug smuggling and unspeakable violence. Four of the six most dangerous cities in the world are in Mexico, all thanks to cartels which are supported in part by smuggling money.

That’s why illegal immigration needs to be cracked down upon. Forget about abolishing ICE. It’s time to beef it up. And let’s throw in a wall for good measure.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture