US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 18 people smugglers and 117 illegal immigrants from three different stash houses in southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, last month.
ICE worked with agents from the US Border Police to take money during the massive lancing operation, to take cars and drugs.
"The month-long enforcement action resulted in the arrest of illegal aliens in three houses of incarceration in the following countries: Mexico (93), Guatemala (12), Honduras (6), Brazil (3), El Salvador (2) and Peru (1)," said ICE. "The seizures included nine vehicles, three semi-trailers and $ 20,000 in US dollars and Mexican currency."
The US citizens Elias Serrano (42) and Jesus Briseno (25) were, according to ICE, arrested for smuggling. Both men have extensive criminal records.
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The officials said that Serrano had at least four criminal records, including severe stalking, abduction, possession of a deadly weapon, and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Briseno's record reportedly includes convictions for escape from custody, possession of marijuana, assault and injury to a family member, and a DUI.
At least three illegal immigrants arrested by ICE also had criminal backgrounds, including a man linked to a Mexican drug cartel.
ICE considered the June operation a victory – with official data proving that the agents are working to secure the US borders.
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"We remain firm in our commitment to vigorously prosecute members of transnational criminal networks who exploit and threaten the people who smuggle them into our country," said Jack P. Staton, Special Representative for ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso statement. "These smugglers are driven by human greed and heartlessness, and HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners such as Border Patrol to uphold the integrity of our border and immigration laws."