The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Ysleta Station Anti-Smuggling Unit found a stash house near the intersection of North Loop Drive and Zaragoza Road.
Inside the premises, agents discovered 18 people, including nine migrants who were in the U.S. illegally, authorities said.
The other nine were U.S. citizens, including two with active warrants and several confirmed gang members. Two handguns and a sawed-off shotgun also were found inside.
One migrant from Ecuador and one from Mexico were processed for illegal reentry, while a U.S. citizen was processed for conspiracy to harbor/transport for his involvement in the smuggling scheme, authorities said. The remaining migrants were expelled to Mexico under Title 42.
Title 42 authority, which has been in effect since March 2020, is named for a 1944 public health law that allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants and suspends their right to seek asylum under U.S. law and international treaties.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Trump administration invoked Title 42 shortly after the coronavirus outbreak to prohibit border control agencies from holding migrants in “congregant settings,” such as holding stations, where COVID-19 could spread rapidly.