Man caught fitting 21 illegal aliens into van
Tue, 29 May 2012 20:05:03 GMT —
A 22-year old was arrested after Border Patrol agents discovered he was trying to smuggle 21 people.
On Sunday evening, Border Patrol received a call about a brown van that had been loading possible illegal aliens in Havana.
The caller reported that multiple people were getting into the vehicle in a brushy area near Dehlia Street.
Two agents responded to the area and saw the van at a nearby intersection off Expressway 83.
As the patrol vehicle approached the van, it made a sudden lane change and darted off in the other direction.
The van was weaving in and out of traffic when the agents signaled the car to pull over.
Agents then approached the van and saw multiple people lying on the floor and in between the seats of the car trying to hid from view.
The driver, Jose Santos Castellanos, immediately put his hands up as a gesture of surrender to the agents.
Twenty-one undocumented aliens were discovered inside the car.
Once transported to the McAllen Border Patrol station, Castellanos said he was hired by ~a friend of a friend TM to go pick up the aliens in Havana, and then drive them off to another location.
The 22-year-old did not know the name of the man who was going to pay him $250 for the job.
The undocumented aliens were questioned about the incident.
One woman from El Salvador told law enforcement that she had crossed the river on an inner tube that morning and had paid $7000 to be smuggled to Houston.
Another one said she had also illegally crossed over the river in a raft and had paid $6000 to go up to New York.
A woman from Ecuador said she had crossed over on a raft as well and had paid a total of $13,000 to travel up to New York.
The other undocumented aliens were reported to be from Guatamala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Ecuador as well.
Castellanos faces human smuggling charges.