Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents rescued 33 migrants locked inside a U-Haul box truck during the evening of June 10. Twelve of those migrants required medical assistance at a hospital for heat-related illness.
Van Horn Border Patrol Station agents received information about a human smuggling scheme involving a Dodge Journey and a U-Haul box truck, according to information received from Big Bend Sector Border Patrol officials. Agents learned the vehicles were stopped at a local McDonald’s restaurant.
Agents approached the two vehicles and conducted a search of the vehicles. When they opened the U-Haul cargo area, the agents found 33 people locked inside. Despite it being 10 p.m., outside temperatures were still near 100 degrees, officials stated.
Due to the heat and lack of fresh air inside the locked cargo compartment, agents said the 33 migrants were “close to perishing.”
Trained Border Patrol emergency medical technician agents assigned to the Special Operations Group evaluated the migrants and began a triage operation. The agents began treating those migrants determined to be the most at risk.
The agents determined, over the next few hours, that 12 migrants needed transportation to local hospitals. Many of the remaining migrants received treatment on the scene for severe dehydration.
Fortunately, due to the quick actions of the Border Patrol agents, none of the migrants died from being locked inside the hot U-Haul truck.
“Had our heroic agents not been able to free these trapped undocumented migrants, we could have seen 33 miserable deaths in this event,” said Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin. “Smugglers do not care what type of misery they put people through as they take their money.”