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Border Patrol agents arrest two Sullivan City women on smuggling charges

Alexia Bermea, 20, of Sullivan City (left) and Veronica Guadalupe Salinas, 35, of Sullivan City (right) are charged with bringing in and harboring aliens. (Photos courtesy of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office)

Border Patrol agents arrested two Sullivan City women Thursday on smuggling charges.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection watched a raft cross the Rio Grande on Thursday near the Los Ebanos ferry, according to the criminal complaint. Four people ran from the raft.

"The camera operator then advised he lost visual of the four subjects in the brush but observed a sedan park near the area where he last saw the subjects," according to the criminal complaint.

Border Patrol followed the sedan north on El Faro Road. When the sedan stopped, four people jumped out and started running away.

Agents arrested the driver, 35-year-old Veronica Guadalupe Salinas of Sullivan City, and the front-seat passenger, 20-year-old Alexis Bermea Sullivan City.

According to the criminal complaint:

SALINAS stated she needed to borrow her friend Alexis BERMEA's car to pick up the illegal aliens. SALINAS claimed the smuggler informed her that if BERMEA and herself made it out with the four men, he would pay them a reasonable amount of money. SALINAS stated she and BERMEA knew the four subjects they picked up were illegal aliens. Finally, SALINAS stated she messed up and did it to support her children.

Bermea refused to answer any questions without an attorney present.

Salinas and Bermea were charged with bringing in and harboring aliens.

An attorney who represents Salinas didn't respond to a request for comment. Bermea's attorney couldn't immediately comment on the case.

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