NOGALES, Ariz. — U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 24 people and seized approximately two pounds of fentanyl during a smuggling operation in Nogales Friday.
Tucson Sector agents assisted in a traffic stop requested from the Nogales Police Department to identify undocumented passengers. Agents determined the driver of a Honda sedan, who is a awfully admitted permanent resident was smuggling two Mexican nationals -- both individuals were illegally present in the country. CBP says all three were arrested.
Later, agents learned human smugglers were holding other undocumented individuals in a nearby house, which was associated with the Honda.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents, and BP agents went to the house, where they found 21 Mexican nationals inside, all illegally present in the U.S. Agents also seized nearly two pounds of fentanyl found in the home.
CBP says during record checks, agents found out one man in the group was identified as a “Surenos” street gang member, who was involved in a previous arrest with immigration officials.
The driver of the Honda is charged with human smuggling. The gang member will be prosecuted for felony immigration violations, according to CBP.
All the other individuals who were arrested will be processed for immigration violations and expelled from the country under Title 42 authority.