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Texas Border Patrol agents thwart human smugglers; discover dozens in stash house

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The driver of a tractor-trailer and his passenger were arrested at the Border Patrol Checkpoint in Laredo after agents found nearly 60 illegal immigrants inside the trailer. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Customs and Border Protection arrested a tractor-trailer driver and his passenger, both U.S. citizens, who tried to smuggle nearly 60 illegal immigrants into the U.S. at the Border Patrol Checkpoint in Laredo, according to a news release.

How were they caught?

On Friday, Border Patrol agents questioned the suspects at the checkpoint before being alerted to the presence of drugs or humans by a Border Patrol canine.

Agents found 59 illegal immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras, and Peru inside the trailer, officials reported.

Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and other agencies said they are working together to thwart human smuggling and human trafficking.

“These criminal organizations view these individuals as mere commodities without regard for their safety," said Gabriel Acosta, Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol agent. "The blatant disregard for human life will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle these organizations and prosecute those responsible.”

All of the immigrants appeared to be in good health, according to officials.

What about the stash house?

A day earlier, law enforcement officials took dozens of illegal immigrants into custody after being discovered in a stash house along the Texas border town of Laredo.

On Thursday, Homeland Security requested assistance from CBP agents and Laredo police for suspicious activity at a house in the south part of the city, according to a news release.

Officers arrived at the home where they found 56 men, women and children who were in the U.S. illegally from Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras, CBP reported.

“The partnerships in Laredo between the U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and the Laredo Police Department continue to show results in disrupting criminal organizations from operating in South Texas. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prosecute those responsible and prevent individuals from being subjected to deplorable conditions,” Acosta said in a news release.

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