Border bandits attempted a brazen “cloning” scam to smuggle illegals into the country as conditions have made some increasingly desperate.
Mexican officials were able to bust an attempt from smugglers attempting to ferry a truckload of aliens into the United States on Saturday thanks to one keen-eyed observation.
The bust happened near the California border when, according to U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens, one smuggler was observed trying to cut through the fence near a fake U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) truck.
“El Centro agents stopped a cloned BP vehicle from entering the U.S. after observing a subject trying to breach the border fence [with] a cutting torch,” Owens detailed Tuesday with images from the bust that showed the truck with decals and a fake Homeland Security license plate. “Mexican officials responded and arrested 17 subjects.”
DYK: Smugglers “clone” vehicles to resemble law enforcement or business ones.
El Centro agents stopped a cloned BP vehicle from entering the U.S. after observing a subject trying to breach the border fence w/ a cutting torch. Mexican officials responded and arrested 17 subjects. pic.twitter.com/eVwE4XtH3a
— Chief Jason Owens (@USBPChief) July 25, 2023
Speaking with KNSD, Mexico’s National Migration Institute delegate David Pérez Tejada explained how the aliens were likely told by smugglers, “Hop on, we already have an agreement. This is a US Border Patrol vehicle. With this, they won’t ask you anything before you cross the border.”
In a statement provided to Border Report, Border Patrol said, “We are currently recording a significant number of migrant deaths in New Mexico due to the desert terrain in extreme heat. Migrants do not have sufficient water and there is minimal shade.”
The El Paso Sector alone has left Border Patrol conducting 330 rescues since October for aliens who’ve illegally crossed into the United States and become separated from groups without access to food or water.
As a result, desperation has steered the aliens toward smugglers to help them complete their illegal entry. Last month, Border Patrol spokesman Agent Sean Coffey told CBS 42 of two vans made up to look like delivery trucks.
“We haven’t seen a FedEx vehicle in some time. We do see other types of vehicles used, like construction vehicles, other vehicles that they put a sticker on that looks like a company vehicle,” he noted.
The methods of deception, even down to the fake Border Patrol vehicle, were nothing new for smuggles as in Aug. 2021 Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin shared an image of an SUV that had been used to transport 10 illegals in Tucson, Arizona.
“Looks like a legit Border Patrol vehicle, right? It’s a fake. Border Patrol in Tucson, AZ arrested a human smuggler who basically cloned a Border Patrol SUV, had a fake uniform, and had 10 illegal immigrants in the car,” he wrote. “All in custody.”
NEW: Looks like a legit Border Patrol vehicle, right?
It’s a fake. Border Patrol in Tucson, AZ arrested a human smuggler who basically cloned a Border Patrol SUV, had a fake uniform, and had 10 illegal immigrants in the car. All in custody. @FoxNews
Courtesy: @USBPChiefTCA pic.twitter.com/Y3uoL42HEt
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) August 25, 2021
Even more clandestine was an attempt outlined by San Diego University Latin American Studies professor Victor Clark Alfaro who told KNSD of a papier-mâché plot to smuggle in an infant.
“A group of human smugglers tried to cross a group of piñatas legally to the U.S. and they were sent to secondary inspection,” he explained. “When CBP approached the vehicle with the piñatas, they discovered that one piñata was a child of around three years old.”
“There will always be groups of coyotes who will try to use their talent against the technology,” the professor cautioned.
Meanwhile, like the Border officials warning against getting involved with smugglers, Clark Alfaro spelled out the danger, “If you are in the hands of smugglers, they can not only rape women, extort migrants and steal their belongings, but even kill them.”
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