EL PASO, Texas – A man accused of human smuggling was arrested by law enforcement authorities with 58 migrants jammed into the back of a Penske box truck, officials revealed. Special agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety saw the migrants being loaded into the rental truck on the west side of El Paso on Wednesday, the agency said.
“There were a total of 58 migrants including 49 males and 9 females from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala. All migrants were referred to Border Patrol and the driver was charged with Human Smuggling,” according to Texas DPS.
The driver was identified as Marquez Oviel, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, officials told Fox News.
The Penske truck case is among the latest in a string of apprehensions of illegal migrants by state officials in Texas during Operation Lone Star, which began in March 2021 in response to the surge in illegal border crossings that has been enabled by the Biden Administration policies.
During a traffic stop in Kinney County, Texas, last Friday, a deputy discovered four migrants inside a vehicle, including 14- and 16-year-old girls, the New York Post reported.
Texas DPS released bodycam footage of the stop on Twitter.
“There are two kids in the back,” a deputy says after opening the back seat doors, video shows.
About halfway into the 80-second video, a woman is handcuffed and told she is under arrest for human smuggling.
“You’re arresting the wrong people,” a male suspect tells the law enforcement official in the clip.
Another child smuggling event was disrupted by @TxDPS in Kinney Co. The driver & passenger, of San Antonio, were arrested for smuggling 4 illegal immigrants – including 2 female juveniles (14 & 16 yoa). Great work by the Trooper! #OperationLoneStar pic.twitter.com/TaRtLlWykh
— Chris Olivarez (@LtChrisOlivarez) March 30, 2023
When the officer asks him who should be arrested, the suspect — identified only as a San Antonio resident — responds: “The cartels. They’re killing people and sex trafficking and everything bad.”
“Those people are the same people that sent you down here,” the trooper replied, video shows.
According to Gov. Abbott’s office, since the launch of Operation Lone Star, there have been more than 360,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions, over 26,000 criminal arrests, which resulted in more than 24,000 felony charges reported.