Starr Co. Deputies combat human smuggling while saving lives

This is the like a video game system where you can zoom in and zoom out, Investigator Erasmo Rios with the Starr County Sheriff TMs Department said.

Rios is referring to a Playstation like remote control that is used to operate the department TMs latest technology used to catch undocumented immigrants.

It TMs called a scope truck.

We use it a lot in the brush, it TMs mainly used for surveillance, he said.

The remote controls a pole that goes 25 feet into the air and uses infrared technology to spot people hiding.

The equipment was used Wednesday night after a truck carrying about two dozen undocumented immigrants rolled over in the McCook area.

One person died while the driver and several others got away.

Seven undocumented immigrants were taken to the hospital with minor injuries then handed over to Border Patrol.

Incidents like this have caused the Starr County Sheriff Department to add more deputies whose sole focus is the counties northern rural roads.

We are not ignorant to the fact that, that is where illegal aliens are being trafficked in and taken through, Rios said.

Rios said the focus is to not only assist Border Patrol in combating human smuggling, but to also save lives.

Rios explains how vehicles are utilized by smugglers.

With this seat down, you can see the Room that TMs allotted in here, and when your treating people like cattle, it TMs easy to fit at least 10-15 bodies in here, Rios said.

The suburban Rios shows Action 4 TMs Nadia Galindo is just one of more than a hundred vehicles that fills the counties impound lot.

Almost every vehicle there was used in a human or drug smuggling attempt.

Rios said smugglers try to stuff as many people into these vehicles.

When accidents happen, it TMs usually the undocumented immigrants who suffer the most.

The ones who survive run into the brush and face a new set of challenges.

Once they are out in the elements as we are today, they could be out there suffering from injuries we don TMt know about.

County investigators are always looking for new technology to stay a step ahead of smugglers

We like to think we catch them all, but unfortunately that TMs not the truth, Rios said.

Thursday afternoon three of the undocumented immigrants who ran into the brush were found near the accident scene and taken to a local hospital.