October 16, 2014 12:37 PM
McALLEN - A Guatemalan man continues recovering at a local hospital after being rescued from the brush in Brooks County.
The man called 911 after he severely sprained his ankle.
Border Patrol agents had to drive on sandy ranch roads for an hour and then hike 30 minutes... more »
October 15, 2014 5:22 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Border Patrol agents rescued a Guatemalan man in a remote area of Brooks County.
The man is recovering.
He called 911 after severely spraining his ankle. The area was so remote that agents had to drive on sandy ranch roads for an hour and then... more »
October 3, 2014 2:56 PM
WESLACO - Texas Department of Public Safety troopers seized more than $250,000 in cash Thursday after a traffic stop in Brooks County.
A DPS trooper pulled over a Volkswagen Jetta in Brooks County on southbound US 281 for a traffic violation. The trooper discovered 11 bundles of U.S. currency,... more »
September 19, 2014 8:09 PM
FALFURRIAS - The Texas Department of Public Safety now has special search teams to help the Brooks County sheriff's office search for bodies in remote areas.
Brooks County is considered a human-smuggling corridor. Dozens of immigrants have died in the inhospitable brush.
The team is made up of... more »
September 2, 2014 8:22 PM
FALFURRIAS - Technology is forcing smugglers to change their routes, Brooks County ranchers said.
The South Texas county is a major human-smuggling corridor, but two aerostats may be forcing smugglers to seek alternate routes.
Federal authorities deployed the aerostats in Brooks County to get a bird's eye view... more »
August 22, 2014 10:29 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - A Edinburg family is searching for their loved one who went missing in Brooks County.
Edinburg's Police Department put out a welfare concern for 20 year old Eric Samora. Edinburg PD say the man went missing in Brooks County so they have no jurisdiction to file... more »
August 20, 2014 8:05 PM
FALFURRIAS - Brooks County remains a busy human-smuggling corridor despite the reported drop in illegal crossings, area ranchers said.
The ranchers feel different groups along the border are sending mixed messages about the reality of the border crisis.
Recent remarks by McAllen Chamber of Commerce officials forced a... more »
August 20, 2014 3:30 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Fire crews determined a massive brush fire is no longer a threat.
The Encino Fire Department put out the fire this morning. A vehicle carrying illegal immigrants started the fire Tuesday afternoon.
It burned 350 acres of the La Copa Ranch. That ranch is located... more »
August 19, 2014 10:40 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Nearly a dozen fire agencies fought Tuesday night to extinguish a large brush fire near Falfurrias.
Heavy winds spread the flames through 350 acres of brush at La Copa Ranch. A car hauling illegal immigrants got stuck in the sand off Interstate 69C and the catalytic... more »
August 19, 2014 4:23 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Firefighters from several cities are working to douse a large brushfire near Falfurrias.
Officials say a vehicle loaded with illegal immigrants went of the road causing the dry grass to catch on fire.
Edinburg fire crews are headed to the site.
August 1, 2014 9:49 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - A man rescued after four days is doing well and being processed at the Falfurrias Border Patrol Station.
The illegal crosser called 911 and told Brooks County officials he had been lost in the brush without food or water.
Brooks County contract Border Patrol and... more »
July 29, 2014 7:38 PM
McALLEN - Border Patrol agents rescued two immigrants from the South Texas brush in two separate incidents.
The first rescue happened Sunday evening. Authorities said a human smuggler abandoned the man near La Grulla.
The man called 911 and Starr County dispatchers relayed his general location to agents.... more »
July 24, 2014 3:55 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - CHANNEL 5 NEWS has new details on a mass grave in Brooks County. Texas Rangers say they will not pursue a criminal case over the hastily buried bodies of illegal immigrants.
Anthropologist from Baylor University exhumed more than 100 unidentified bodies from a burial plot in... more »
July 18, 2014 8:13 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - A natural gas pipeline has become a back road around a Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias.
The construction for the pipeline cut a path along the rugged South Texas brush. Brooks County ranchers say illegal immigrants now are using that path.
The region still posses... more »
July 18, 2014 8:07 PM
FALFURRIAS - Sheriffs from throughout the nation gathered in Brooks County to learn more about the immigration crisis affecting South Texas.
The sheriffs said the surge in immigration represents a threat to their communities.
Brooks County Rancher Dr. Mike Vickers and his wife Linda gave the lawmen a... more »
July 3, 2014 12:37 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Border Patrol agents at the Falfurrias checkpoint found 15 illegal immigrants inside an 18-wheeler early Thursday.
A dog alerted agents to the immigrants during an inspection. Eleven of the immigrants were hiding between pallets of carrots. Four more were hidden in the sleeper cab.
Agents... more »
June 27, 2014 8:07 PM
FALFURRIAS - A volunteer in Brooks County is setting out water bottles in the vast rangelands to help the illegal immigrants trekking through the region.
Brooks County is one of the major human smuggling corridors in South Texas. Countless bodies have been recovered from the inhospitable brush.
"Most... more »
June 26, 2014 7:16 PM
FALFURRIAS - Sex offenders, murder suspects and gang members are making their way through the vast rangelands of Brooks County.
The Vickers ranch is one of the many land spreads affected by the surge in illegal immigration. What is more concerning to the ranch owners is the type of... more »
June 25, 2014 7:44 PM
FALFURRIAS - Texas Rangers will investigate the handling and processing of the remains of unidentified illegal immigrants found in Brooks County. It's been two weeks since anthropologists exhumed more than 100 unidentified bodies from a mass gravesite.
Since then, Brooks County officials have been bombarded with questions. For years,... more »
June 25, 2014 12:41 PM
FALFURRIAS - Officials in Brooks County voted to move forward with an investigation into mass graves found at a Falfurrias cemetery.
Earlier this month, anthropologists and students exhumed 52 graves at the cemetery. The remains belong to unidentified immigrants who died making their way north. Some of the remains... more »
June 19, 2014 7:48 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - As more illegal immigrants cross the border, the risk of death is becoming greater.
Border Patrol officials deployed more agents trained in search and rescue to scour the brush in Brooks County for those who are lost and in need of help.
The agents are... more »
June 19, 2014 3:19 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - A Guatemalan man, on the brink of death, was just rescued from the Brooks County brush.
Border Patrol agents found him severely dehydrated yesterday after the man became lost.
Agents used coordinates from a 911 call to track him down.
He's now recovering at... more »
June 13, 2014 8:40 PM
FALFURRIAS - A group of volunteers from outside the region is helping ranchers patrol the land in Brooks County.
The volunteers say they are looking for people who were left behind during their journey north. Many of those immigrants succumb to the harsh South Texas brush.
CHANNEL 5... more »
June 13, 2014 12:36 PM
FALFURRIAS - The church community in Falfurrias is stepping up to help families in need. This is after Brooks County continues to cut its food commodity program.
Seven churches in Falfurrias partnered with a Corpus Christi food bank to bring in food and fill the gap. This morning, dozens... more »
June 10, 2014 8:05 PM
FALFURRIAS - Forensic anthropologists are back in Brooks County to exhume the bodies of immigrants who died in the South Texas brush.
The volunteer group is on a mission to return the remains to families. One body was positively identified.
More than 40 bodies were pulled from a... more »
June 3, 2014 7:58 PM
FALFURRIAS - The surge in illegal immigration is creating a strain for authorities in Brooks County.
The sheriff's department is now relying on volunteers to help patrol their jurisdiction. The volunteers hope they can keep illegal immigrants from ending up in paupers' graves at the local cemetery.
Daniel... more »
May 28, 2014 10:40 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Rio Grande Valley law enforcers are volunteering their time to patrol Brooks County.
Daniel Walden and Gustavo Cobos are not familiar with the Brooks County brush. Still, they are familiar with the problems that plague the area.
"Once you come up here and actually experience... more »
May 27, 2014 7:16 PM
FALFURRIAS - Brooks County may get an influx of funds thanks to a serendipitous seizure.
Authorities seized $420,800 at a rest stop on Interstate 69C. The cash was stashed inside an old television set. Ernesto Salas, a Chicago resident, was arrested on money laundering charges.
A Brooks County... more »
May 19, 2014 12:46 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Deputies seized nearly half a million dollars in Brooks County.
Sunday morning, deputies pulled over a suspicious driver on Highway 281, seven miles south of Falfurrias. Investigators said the driver appeared nervous during routine questioning. A K-9 alerted authorities to something in the vehicle.
Deputies... more »
March 25, 2014 8:09 AM
NEAR FALFURRIAS - A cargo van fatally hit a woman and her daughter, who were crossing U.S. 281. According to Brooks County sheriff's deputies, the two were part of group of about 30 illegal immigrants.
We're told the woman's 13-year-old son was also part of the group and witnessed... more »
March 20, 2014 7:22 PM
FALFURRIAS - Brooks County employees are weighing their options days before their health benefits are cancelled.
Officials said the county can no longer pay for those benefits. They fear many employees will leave their jobs. The workers are not so quick to say they are leaving.
CHANNEL 5... more »
March 14, 2014 8:26 PM
FALFURRIAS - Brooks County is a boomtown gone bust, an official said.
The county announced this week that employees will lose their health benefits at the end of the month.
County Judge Raul Ramirez said there isn't enough money to keep providing that benefit.
Ramirez said oil... more »
March 13, 2014 8:31 PM
FALFURRIAS - An illegal immigrant grabbed a Border Patrol agent's gun and fired two rounds at the lawman Wednesday night in Brooks County.
The immigrant missed and the agent was able to regain control of the weapon and subdued the man, officials said.
The incident happened after the... more »
March 13, 2014 8:25 PM
FALFURRIAS - Brooks County Judge Raul Ramirez fears many of his employees will leave their jobs once their health benefits end.
Brooks County employees will lose their health benefits at the end of this month.
County officials said the loss of health benefits is part of cost-cutting measures.... more »
March 12, 2014 11:00 PM
FALFURRIAS - Brooks County employees will lose their health benefits at the end of this month.
County officials said the loss of health benefits is part of cost-cutting measures. The county cut some benefits last year. Officials said it's time for more cuts.
The budget shortfall also may... more »
March 12, 2014 11:27 AM
NEAR FALFURRIAS - Border Patrol officials confirmed an agent fired a handgun this morning in Encino. That's south of the Falfurrias checkpoint.
We're told it happened around 9:30 a.m. in the area of Lucero Street and Highway 281. Border Patrol officials said the agent fired his handgun after being... more »
February 6, 2014 10:34 PM
FALFURRIAS - Broken grave markers dot the paupers' graves at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Falfurrias. It's a place few ever visit.
The site is the final resting place for many illegal immigrants who perished in the unforgivable Brooks County brush.
The grave markers are mere pieces of mangled... more »
February 6, 2014 10:29 PM
FALFURRIAS - Forensics students took on the task of trying to identify the remains of illegal immigrants buried in paupers' graves in Brooks County.
The students exhumed 63 bodies last year from the graves. Those remains are now at forensic laboratories at universities in Texas and Indiana.
Researchers... more »
February 4, 2014 8:57 PM
NEAR FALFURRIAS - A Brooks County rancher hopes his efforts will help save illegal immigrants who get lost in the brush.
Lavoyger Durham said he is tired of the loss of life in his ranch. He knows countless illegal immigrants trek through the ranch he manages.
Hundreds of... more »
February 3, 2014 8:42 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - A rescue group is in South Texas looking for illegal immigrants who have gone missing.
Rafael Larraenza Hernandez said they already saw their first casualty at a ranch near Falfurrias. His group, Angeles del Desierto (Desert Angels) is searching the region for more immigrants in trouble.... more »
February 3, 2014 4:27 PM
WESLACO - A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board does not specify why a Customs and Border Protection helicopter made a hard land last month in Brooks County.
The report states that witnesses saw the aircraft 50 to 100 feet above the ground. The aircraft made an... more »
January 30, 2014 3:19 PM
NEAR FALFURRIAS - The smuggling routes from the banks of the Rio Grande to Brooks County are silent witnesses to the horrors countless women endure in their search of a better life.
Marilu Noely Alas Santos, a mother of two, entered the United States in September, 2012. Alas and... more »
January 10, 2014 5:09 PM
BROOKS COUNTY-- Federal agents say a Customs and Border Protection helicopter that went down this morning is a Eurocopter AS350.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, an engine fire was reported on board. It is unknown if that fire was the cause of the crash.
The FAA is... more »
January 10, 2014 11:01 AM
BROOKS COUNTY - DPS troopers said a Customs and Border Protection helicopter made an emergency landing on La Copa Ranch in Brooks County this morning. That's a private ranch, located on the west side of Highway 281 and about two miles south of the Falfurrias checkpoint.
According to the... more »
September 12, 2013 8:14 PM
FALFURRIAS - Budget constraints are leaving Brooks County sheriff's deputies without fuel to patrol areas under their jurisdiction.
Deputies said fuel shortages are keeping them from enforcing the law in major smuggling corridors.
County commissioners met on Thursday to discuss how to cut more than $1 million from... more »
September 11, 2013 10:38 PM
FALFURRIAS - Budget constraints could affect law enforcement in Brooks County, officials said.
Illegal immigrant deaths and a lack of federal funding are draining the county's funds, officials said.
The county faces a 20 percent budget cut. The Brooks County sheriff said he may lose deputies when the... more »
September 10, 2013 5:23 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Border Patrol agents are investigating a rollover accident following a chase near Falfurrias.
Border Patrol officials said the incident happened at about 9 a.m. after agents tried to stop a suspicious vehicle.
Agents said the vehicle left the road before rolling over.
Six people... more »
August 8, 2013 7:49 PM
WESLACO - A special operation aimed at curbing smuggling is growing thanks to a state grant, officials said.
The $120,000 grant will allow the installation of more cameras in the South Texas brush. It is part of Operation Drawbridge. The program is a partnership between the U.S. Border Patrol,... more »
July 19, 2013 5:21 PM
WESLACO - A Guatemalan national is searching for answers after his mother disappeared while being smuggled into the United States through South Texas.
The woman intended to reach Houston where she planned to reunite with her family.
Pedro Llanes said his mother made it to Falfurrias.
"All... more »
July 18, 2013 6:42 PM
FALFURRIAS - Border Patrol agents arrested about 70 illegal immigrants after a chase involving a box truck Wednesday in Brooks County.
Agents said about 10 immigrants managed to flee after the chase ended when the truck slammed into a fence.
Border Patrol officials received calls about a large... more »
July 12, 2013 8:57 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Deputies in Brooks County now have information on 39 illegal immigrants who died in the brush. The information is filed in the county's binder of bodies for 2013. U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered the latest human remains, five of them, last week. Deputies said four of the... more »
July 9, 2013 4:25 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Investigators on Tuesday launched a probe into a fiery wreck on Highway 281. One of the vehicles involved may have been used in a human smuggling operation, officials said.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers said the crash happened at approximately 10 p.m. Monday at the... more »
June 18, 2013 5:18 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - An illegal immigrant was flown to a hospital in Corpus Christi hospital after Border Patrol agents rescued him from the brush in Brooks County.
Agents also saved two other immigrants. The immigrants called for help after they got lost in the brush, officials said.
Brooks... more »
June 17, 2013 3:35 PM
EDINBURG - Border Patrol agents saved two men from Mexico. The men called the Brooks County Sheriff's Office to report they were lost in the brush.
Border Patrol agents found the immigrants and provided medical assistance. A third man was unresponsive when agents arrived. He was flown to a... more »
May 30, 2013 8:43 AM
SAN JUAN - Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector is teaming up with officials from Brooks County and Hidalgo County. They'll hold a press conference later today to discuss human smuggling and law enforcement agencies' proactive approach to preventing illegal immigrant injuries and deaths.
The announcement follows the rescue... more »
May 29, 2013 7:44 PM
FALFURRIAS - Brooks County officials are bracing for a possible increase in the number of immigrant deaths during the summer months.
Sheriff's deputies said they fear this year will surpass the 129 mark set in 2012.
One of the most recent deaths happened Saturday on State Highway 281.... more »
May 19, 2013 9:19 PM
FALFURRIAS - Forensic crews were in Brooks County, working to identify illegal immigrants who died crossing into the United States. Nameless graves in Falfurrias marked the area where men, women and children searching for a better life in the United States died.
Maria Jimenez drove from Houston to watch... more »
May 16, 2013 8:40 PM
WESLACO - Relatives of an illegal immigrant missing in Brooks County fear he will not be found alive.
Pedro Lozano's girlfriend, Skyla Thomas, said he crossed the border on March 20. He was being smuggled from Mexico to Oklahoma, but he never made it to his destination. She said... more »
May 16, 2013 4:22 PM
WESLACO - Relatives of an illegal immigrant being smuggled from Mexico to Oklahoma said he never made it to his destination.
Pedro Lozano's girlfriend, Skyla Thomas, said he crossed the border on March 20. She said he called her from a stash house in McAllen.
Thomas said Lozano... more »
May 6, 2013 1:01 PM
PHARR - Police said a man jumped off the Highway 281 interchange in Pharr to avoid authorities. He's now undergoing emergency surgery.
It all started in Brooks County. Someone called 911 to report a driver in a BMW picked up two people about 60 miles north of the checkpoint.... more »
May 2, 2013 10:49 PM
NEAR FALFURRIAS - America's last line of defense is disappearing in the South Texas brush.
A few strands of barbed wire and the inhospitable ranchlands of Brooks County are little deterrent to those determined to make it past the Border Patrol checkpoint.
"It's escalated to the point that... more »
April 11, 2013 8:43 PM
BROWNSVILLE - South Texas authorities say Mexican drug cartels will continue to recruit teens to smuggle illegal immigrants and drugs through the region.
Jim Wells and Brooks counties District Attorney Carlos Garcia said the cartels are becoming more sophisticated.
"To become successful in their line of work, or... more »
April 1, 2013 8:20 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - An Edinburg man died Monday after an accident at an oil rig in rural Brooks County.
The accident happened at Helmerich and Payne Inc. drilling well 399. The site is about 2 miles off Highway 281 near FM 755 and County Road 307.
Brooks County... more »
January 31, 2013 10:10 PM
FALFURRIAS - A Brooks County rancher says illegal immigrants are destroying his property.
Presnall Cage said the number of immigrants trekking through his land has increased considerably. He said the increased traffic is affecting the cost of operating the thousands of acres he owns south of Falfurrias.
Cage... more »
January 29, 2013 8:28 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Brooks County investigators are reporting an increase in attacks against illegal immigrants.
The abuse is happening at the hands of civilians, officials said.
Brooks County constables said the abuse may be in response to the frustration over the increased foot traffic and destruction of property... more »
November 14, 2012 9:55 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - The sun struggles to shine through the fog during a recent morning as deputies converge on a ranch west of Falfurrias.
The Brooks County Sheriff's deputies board their all-terrain vehicles as they prepare to head beyond the brush. They invited CHANNEL 5 NEWS to get a... more »
November 3, 2012 9:54 PM
EDINBURG - TEXAS DPS Troopers use spike strips to end a high speed chase that started in Brooks County.
A spokesperson for DPS tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS they tried to pull over the driver of a Ford Explorer in Brooks County. The driver refused to stop and headed south.... more »
October 19, 2012 7:37 PM
WESLACO - Brooks County officials on Friday said they've recovered a body that may match the description of a missing Guatemalan.
The officials asked CHANNEL 5 NEWS for more information to aid them in their investigation.
The missing man, Irving Jancarlo Monterroso Monterroso, 18, went missing in August.... more »
August 20, 2012 10:44 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - The battle to control illegal immigration in Brooks County is more serious than ever, landowners said.
"It's every day ... just overwhelming traffic," Dr. Michael Vickers said. He owns a ranch near the Border Patrol checkpoint. "We've found some that are near death ... too many... more »
August 20, 2012 6:42 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - Smugglers are willing to risk everything to avoid being caught, Brooks County Sheriff's deputies said.
Texas Highway 285, west of Falfurrias, is one of the last spots where smugglers pick up illegal immigrants and cargo before they head north, said Brooks County Sheriff's Deputy Moe Saavedra.... more »
June 7, 2012 12:39 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - DPS troopers are investigating a deadly crash. It happened in Brooks County on FM 755, west of Highway 281.
Troopers say Oscar Homero Garcia of Rio Grande City was killed in the one-vehicle accident. Investigators say Garcia was driving his F-250 truck, when he veered off... more »
June 6, 2012 6:38 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - The bodies of three illegal immigrants were found in the last three days. Two of them died on ranchland east of Falfurrias. It's an area where illegal immigrants typically don't cross.
Dozens have died in Brooks County in the past few years. Authorities at the sheriff's... more »
May 31, 2012 12:49 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - The United States Navy is clearing debris at the site of a training jet crash in Brooks County.
A T-45 Goshawk crashed yesterday afternoon on the Jones ranch, which is just west of Encino. Two pilots on board ejected from the plane. They were taken to... more »
May 31, 2012 12:18 AM
BROOKS COUNTY - Federal authorities are guarding the wreckage of a downed T-45 Goshawk on a ranch near Encino. The plane went down on Wednesday afternoon. Both pilots on board ejected safely.
Witnesses say the jet caught fire and may have exploded on impact. The U.S. Navy has taken... more »
May 30, 2012 4:24 PM
NEAR ENCINO - A naval training jet crashed on a ranch in Brooks County. It happened near Encino at around 3:30 p.m.
According to Lt. John Suppel, the two-seat training aircraft was on a routine mission when it went down. The two pilots ejected from the plane. Their conditions... more »
May 29, 2012 12:02 AM
BROOKS COUNTY - A head-on collision involving two groups of people from the Rio Grande Valley has left two men from Sullivan City dead.
Police say 19-year-old Victor Sifuentes and 52-year-old Enrique Sifuentes were in a pickup that crossed into oncoming traffic on State Highway 285 on Monday.
... more »
April 2, 2012 10:51 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - The rush is on. Spring is the start of human smuggling season here in South Texas. Sheriff's deputies are preparing for a busy couple of weeks.
Spring means smuggling in South Texas. Brooks County sheriff's deputies are ready.
"And this is the time of year... more »
March 29, 2012 7:53 PM
FALFURRIAS - We're taking a closer look at some of the places illegal immigrants are hiding out in Brooks County, just to the north of us. They're a lot different than the stash houses we're seeing here in the Valley.
Get around the Border Patrol checkpoint, past the rugged... more »
February 10, 2012 4:39 PM
HIDALGO COUNTY - A man is sitting in Hidalgo County's jail. He was arrested after leading police on a 30-minute pursuit through two counties, starting in Brooks County.
The truck was taken out by spike strips set up in the southbound lanes of Highway 281, just south of 186... more »
February 7, 2012 9:41 PM
FALFURRIAS - Dozens of illegal immigrants have lost their lives in the brush of Brooks County. CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned it could take weeks, sometimes months, for bodies to be buried.
Many of the unidentified bodies found end up in a family mortuary in Mission. There, Dina Elizondo works... more »
February 7, 2012 5:40 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - For many illegal immigrants entering the U.S., the journey ends in Brooks County. A special section of the Brooks County cemetery includes their graves.
The section has simple metal markers. There are no flags and only a few faded flowers. There's nothing to identity who the... more »