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Two migrants killed, several others arrested in human smuggling events in the last two weeks, DPS says

The agency joined the Texas Military Department for a joint press conference at the Texas/Mexico border Thursday morning.

SAN ANTONIO — DPS officials said Thursday two migrants were killed and dozens of others were apprehended in separate incidents over the last two weeks.

The agency joined the Texas Military Department for a joint press conference at the Texas/Mexico border Thursday morning. At the event, official described several significant events over the last two weeks.

One of those occurred on Nov. 26 in Hidalgo County. A La Hoya DPS trooper tried to pull over the driver of a Ford pickup truck, but the driver refused to stop. The vehicle rolled over and crashed while evading authorities. DPS said two migrants were killed in the crash and 11 others were injured. The driver was charged with smuggling and evading arrest.

On Dec. 1, a Starr County DPS trooper also tried to pull over a vehicle and the driver did not stop. The vehicle ended up crashing through a barrier at a Starr County port of entry and the driver fled into Mexico. Hours later, DPS troopers said the female driver came back into the US and admitted she was involved in that incident and was arrested by DPS. She did have previous criminal charges for smuggling and for operating a stash house. She had been on supervised release for harboring illegal immigrants.

One Nov. 30, DPS said troopers apprehended 53 migrants at a stash house in Webb County. Those migrants were referred to Border Patrol.

Troopers also had what they called the second apprehension of a human smuggler using rafts to bring migrants across the Rio Grande River. That suspect was arrested Nov. 19. DPS believes the person was responsible for bringing 79 migrants across the river on rafts.

In addition to the recent incidents, the Texas Military Department gave an update on the construction of a temporary border barrier. Governor Abbott had previously described it as fencing. TMD said they just completed six miles of barrier and had other land available for continued construction.

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