U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 18 human smugglers and 117 illegal immigrants from three different stash houses located in southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, last month, the agency announced in an online statement Friday.
ICE worked alongside agents with the U.S. Border Patrol to make the arrests, seizing cash, cars and drugs during the massive sting operation.
“The monthlong enforcement action resulted in the arrest of illegal aliens in three area stash houses from the following countries: Mexico (93), Guatemala (12), Honduras (6), Brazil (3), El Salvador (2) and Peru (1),” ICE reported. “The seizures included nine vehicles, three tractor-trailers and $20,000 in U.S and Mexican currency.”
U.S. citizens Elias Serrano, 42, and Jesus Briseno, 25, were among those arrested for smuggling, according to ICE. Both men have extensive criminal records.
Officials said Serrano had at least four prior convictions including aggravated stalking, kidnapping, possession of a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Briseno’s record reportedly includes convictions for escape from custody, possession of marijuana, assault/causing injury to family member and a DUI.