It’s Springtime and Agents see surge in human smuggling

41 American truckers charged with illegal smugglingThough springtime typically sees a spike in illegal border crossings, activity has been heavier than usual in Laredo, immigration officials said.

In the past two months, agents have thwarted several attempts to smuggle people in large tractor-trailers, charging 41 people — American truck drivers and others — with smuggling. They detained 376 undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America, each of whom paid $500 to $3,000 for the trip.

The discoveries were made by Border Patrol agents working at inland checkpoint stations, such as the one on Interstate 35 north of Laredo. The agents turned the American truck drivers over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which works with the U.S. attorney’s office to prosecute them.