U.S Border Patrol agents arrested a child sex offender, 13 gang members

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REYNOSA, TAMAULIPAS.- US Border Patrol agents on the Tamaulipas-Texas border arrested a child sex offender, 13 gang members, and other migrants with prior convictions – just as agents are contending with a continuous wave of migration across the border

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector last week arrested Elmer Armando Valenzuela, a Salvadoran illegal immigrant who had a prior conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a child.

On Sunday, agents in the sector stopped a Honduran national who was sentenced to three years in jail after being charged with the aggravated manslaughter of a child in Florida.

Over the next two days, agents arrested Salvadoran gang member who had previously served time for being in the U.S. illegally and a Mexican national with what CBP called an “extensive” criminal record that included abuse and assault – for which he had been sentenced to 14 years in jail.

Agents have also picked up an additional 12 migrants who belong to the 18th Street and MS-13 gangs. FBI officials have previously warned that MS-13, a Salvadoran street gang known for its brutal crimes, is attempting to “rebuild” in parts of the United States.

Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies have been working to break up the organized smuggling of illegal immigrants, which is organized in many cases by transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels.

While many migrants will hand themselves to Border Patrol, others will attempt to sneak past overwhelmed agents — aided by smugglers. There were more than 2.3 million migrant encounters in FY 2022, and nearly 600,000 “gotaways.”

“Transnational Criminal Organizations continue to smuggle migrants, many with gang affiliations and criminal backgrounds”, RGV Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez said in a statement. “I’m so incredibly proud of our Border Patrol Agents for their dedication to the mission of securing the border. Their vigilance has kept these criminal migrants and gang members out of our communities and off the streets.”

The arrests come as law enforcement has busted a number of smuggling operations, including smugglers using an Uber driver, as well as the stopping of a truck smuggling over 120 migrants to the U.S. border. That truck was stopped by Mexican authorities.

Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Sector announced this week that they had apprehended a group of illegal immigrants which included a Mexican national who had a prior conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child and had previously been deported earlier this year.

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