Laredo Sector Border Patrol Encounters Dangerous Human Smuggling Tactics

LAREDO, Texas – Picture yourself in this situation: 100 plus degree Fahrenheit weather, locked in a trailer in complete darkness, no circulating air, 100 strangers rubbing shoulders with you, covered from head to toe in High Calcium Hydrated Lime, inhaling the empowering scent of Fabuloso (all-purpose cleaner), and entrusting your life to an unknown smuggler.  Unfortunately, these are common scenarios undocumented individuals face while trying to enter and travel through the U.S. undetected.

substance on person Calcium Hydroxide is used in industrial settings, such as sewage treatment, paper production, construction, and food processing, therefore, it produces a potential health risk for individuals.  Calcium hydroxide is a hazardous substance and can severely irritate the skin and eyes; or cause permanent eye damage.  The ingestion of High Calcium Hydrated Lime can lead to potential poisoning and death.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes Fabuloso as a strong chemical that is associated with health problems such as nose, throat, and lung irritation, sneezing, wheezing, dermatitis, difficulty breathing, and even asthma.

Opened bags of High Calcium Hydrated Lime powder, spilt Fabuloso liquid containers, and foam sealants are merely a few examples that smugglers use in an attempt to mask the scent of people from being detected by Border Patrol agents.  The images are tragic testimonies of the ruthless and careless methods transnational criminal organizations use to carry out their illicit activities.  The use of these chemicals is another indicative of how smugglers view undocumented individuals, as a mere commodity.

To report suspicious activity such as human and/or drug smuggling, download the “USBP Laredo Sector” App or contact the Laredo Sector Border Patrol toll free at 1-800-343-1994.  If you see something, say something.


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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.

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