Thermal cameras foil drug smugglers near Brownsville Ship Channel

Eiden Arellano Melendez (Brownsville City Jail Mugshot)

Three illegal immigrants are behind bars after thermal cameras caught them smuggling marijuana near the Brownsville Ship Channel.

It all happened about 46 miles east of the Veterans International Bridge around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Eiden Arellano-Melendez, Ehver Guadalupe Mata-Nieto and Hector Guadalupe Mata-Zapata on federal drug charges.

Court records show that thermal imaging cameras on the border captured eight men smuggling drugs between the Rio Grande River and the Brownsville Ship Channel.

Five men got away but Border Patrol agents were able to catch Arellano-Melendez, Mata-Nieto and Mata-Zapata.

Border Patrol agents seized a raft and 404.5 pounds of marijuana at the scene.

The three men appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio in Brownsville on Tuesday morning.

Court records showed that all three men are illegal immigrants.

Judge Recio denied bond for them until a Friday morning hearing.