Is it because of the promised passage of the “Dream Act” or a signal the national economy is starting to improve?
Last week, Beeville police officers and sheriff’s deputies helped capture a group of suspected Mexican nationals after their Dodge pickup smashed into an oak tree in thick brush off Ellis Road.
Patrolman Jared Moore said as many as 18 persons were thought to have been hidden away in the vehicle. Five of them were captured later during another routine traffic stop within the city.
Police Chief Joe Treviño and Sgt. Jason Alvarez said that the number of vehicles bringing illegals through Bee County is increasing this year.
Increased traffic and the fact that local officers are getting better at spotting their vehicles are the reasons this year has been so active for city and county officers, the chief believes.
In late July, local lawmen had to chase down suspected illegal immigrants who bailed out of their vehicles and ran for safety on several occasions. In each incident, the suspects were caught and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol agents. And the same is being reported in all our nearby newspapers.
One would think the winter or spring would be a preferable time for these “visitors” to venture through South Texas, particularly crowded into the bed of a truck or stowed away in a secret compartment.
However, Alvarez pointed out that smuggling humans can be a lucrative business for those who are already familiar with smuggling drugs into Texas. The coyotes and drug cartels know the roads and highways as well as anyone who lives in this area.
The immigrants pay between $4,000 and $7,000 a head to be smuggled into the country, Alvarez said. “And you get a load of 20?” At $100,000 a load, that is good money.
Also, the roads are busy. “Right now, they think they can mingle with the oil field trucks,” the officer said. South Texas highways have a steady stream of pickups carrying oil field crews to work and back.
Law-abiding citizens should appreciate our police, sheriff’s, DPS and other officers for working together well and protecting our lives and property from these smugglers who think nothing of endangering entire truck loads of people – sometimes with tragic consequences in this rough terrain.
And we especially admire these officers for racing and chasing after criminals in this extreme heat wave.