DPS: 19 migrants detained during human smuggling attempt by plane in McAllen
A Houston-bound plane carrying 19 migrants was grounded in McAllen on Friday in what authorities are calling a human smuggling attempt, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The plane was grounded at McCreery Aviation Co., near the McAllen International Airport, after DPS received a tip concerning three vehicles dropping off a group of people at the airport, according to a DPS news release.
The 19 detained migrants were 12 men and seven women, all from Central America, the news release stated.
Channel 5 News cameras captured DPS troopers and Border Patrol agents inspecting a private plane. An agent was spotted carrying a bag of seized cell phones.
Friday's incident appears to show an emerging trend involving immigration arrests and private aircrafts.
On Aug. 31, 12 immigrants were detained at the South Texas International Airport at Edinburg chartering a plane to Houston.
Nine immigrants were also arrested for attempting to charter a private plane on Sept. 7 at McCreery Aviation, where Friday's incident happened.
The detained migrants are in Border Patrol custody, the news release stated. The DPS Criminal Investigations Division and Homeland Security Investigations are leading the investigation.