Smugglers lead Border Patrol agents to drug bunker in Starr County
Two men are behind bars after drug smugglers allegedly led authorities to a drug bunker in Starr County.
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 45-year-old Jose Israel Gutierrez-Perez and 21-year-old Agustin Eloy Pineda-Barrientos on Monday night.
Federal court records show that a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) helicopter pilot spotted smugglers in a raft on the Rio Grande River near Escobares.
The helicopter watch a pickup truck leave the scene and head to a mobile home off Mi Ranchito Street in Roma.
Border Patrol agents arrived at the scene but several people scattered.
Records show that Gutierrez-Perez was identified as the driver of the truck and arrested while walking away from the scene.
Pineda-Barrientos was seen fleeing the from the scene and hiding underneath a home off Agustin Street.
Border Patrol agents found dozens of bundles with 734 pounds of marijuana and outside the mobile home.
Investigators were picking up marijuana when they discovered a bunker underneath a concrete slab where more bundles were hidden inside.
Both Gutierrez-Perez and Pineda-Barrientos appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos in McAllen on Tuesday morning.
Court records show that both men are Mexican nationals.
Judge Ramos denied bond for both men until a Monday afternoon hearing.