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Border Patrol arrests McAllen man accused of smuggling people across the border

Israel Guerrero Jr., 34, of McAllen is charged with bringing in and harboring aliens, a federal felony. (Photo courtesy of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office)

Border Patrol arrested a smuggler Friday near Hidalgo, where agents found him hiding in the brush, according to the federal criminal complaint.

Agents assigned to the McAllen Border Patrol Station found approximately 20 people hiding near an orchard in Hidalgo, according to the criminal complaint. When they approached, the group scattered.

Border Patrol eventually detained 18 people, including Israel Guerrero Jr., 34, of McAllen.

According to the criminal complaint:

During a brief field interview, GUERRERO stated that he had recently entered the United States by crossing the Rio Grande River with other subjects that had been apprehended; he did not explain why he had chosen to enter at such a place and manner. He further stated that he was a citizen of the United States, and a local resident of McAllen, TX; but he did not produce any identification or documentation to sustain his claims.

At least one person detained by Border Patrol said Guerrero guided her through the brush.

Guerrero is charged with bringing in and harboring aliens, a federal felony.

Court records don't list an attorney for Guerrero, who remains in federal custody and couldn't be reached for comment.

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