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Border agents in Deming, New Mexico, thwarted a smuggling attempt that led them to an El Paso hotel where 39 undocumented migrants were discovered.

According to police, illegal migrants were held in overcrowded conditions, deprived of communication by having their cellphones confiscated, and were being prepared for further transport to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

El Paso Hotel Migrant Bust 1

A federal grand jury in El Paso has since indicted Ramon Martinez Unzueta, Angel de la Cruz Torres, and Andres de la Cruz Torres on conspiracy and alien transportation charges related to the December 5 incident. Officials say this all began when US Border Patrol’s Anti-Smuggling Unit acted on a tip, leading to surveillance and subsequent intervention at the hotel. Martinez, after agreeing to speak with agents, led them to the rooms where the migrants were found alongside evidence of the smuggling operation, including a large bag of cell phones and fake license plates. The suspects, themselves illegal immigrants, were found preparing vehicles for a long journey.

De la Cruz confessed to his regular involvement in transporting illegal migrants and employing tactics to evade Border Patrol, while Martinez revealed he was offered a job in the smuggling ring after being smuggled into the US himself.

The suspects are now awaiting their arraignment in El Paso on January 16.


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