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  • Woman Sentenced After Deadly Smuggling Wreck

    October 30, 2014 8:01 AM

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - A Houston woman must serve nearly seven years in prison over a South Texas traffic accident that claimed the life of a person suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. Karin Yamilec Aguilar-Melgor was sentenced Wednesday in Corpus Christi. The 22-year-old driver in June pleaded... more »
  • Brooks County Officials Report Drop in Immigrant Deaths Play Video

    October 27, 2014 7:14 PM

    FALFURRIAS - Brooks County officials say fewer illegal immigrants are losing their lives in the brush. Others say the bodies are there, but they are not being found. Brooks County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Benny Martinez said the body count stands at 55 so far this year. Last year,... more »
  • Human Smuggling Still a Concern at Checkpoints Play Video

    October 21, 2014 7:52 PM

    FALFURRIAS - Border Patrol agents are finding people in places like trunks and trailers at the checkpoint in Falfurrias. This type of smuggling continues and agents are asking for assistance. U.S. Border Patrol Spokesman Oscar Saldana is asking the public for help "because unfortunately we cannot be at all... more »
  • Authorities Search for Illegal Immigrants in Fire Investigation Play Video

    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 »
  • Crews Contain Fire in Brooks County Play Video

    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 »
  • Large Brushfire Reported in Brooks County Play Video

    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. more »
  • Immigrants Use Pipeline Path to Circumvent Checkpoint Play Video

    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 »
  • Sheriffs Visit Falfurrias to Learn About Immigration Surge Play Video

    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 »
  • Group of Illegal Immigrants Found Hiding in Tractor-Trailer Play Video

    July 3, 2014 11:15 PM

    FALFURRIAS - Border Patrol agents rescued a group of illegal immigrants found locked inside a tractor-trailer rig. A Border Patrol K-9 at the Falfurrias checkpoint alerted agents during an inspection Thursday morning. Agents found 11 people in the trailer. They were hiding between pallets of carrots. Four others were... more »
  • Brooks County Ranchers Worry About Criminal Immigrants Play Video

    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 »
  • Documents Needed to Start Investigation into Mass Graves Play Video

    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 »
  • New Details on a Mass Grave in Falfurrias

    June 25, 2014 3:53 PM

    FALFURRIAS - Texas Rangers are investigating the handling and processing of unidentified illegal immigrants whose bodies were found in a Brooks County cemetery. Anthropologists exhumed more than 100 bodies in a mass grave at Sacred Heart Cemetery two weeks ago. County officials are trying to determine who owns... more »
  • Brooks County Officials Support Investigation into Mass Graves Play Video

    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 »
  • Agents Arrest Immigrant Wanted in Murder Play Video

    June 23, 2014 5:27 PM

    WESLACO - Border Patrol agents arrested one illegal immigrant wanted on murder charges. The arrest happened Friday at a ranch near Falfurrias. Records show the Guatemalan man had a warrant on a murder charge in Florida. His extradition is pending. In a separate case, agents stationed in McAllen... more »
  • Churches Helping Brooks County Families in Need Play Video

    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 »
  • Forensics Experts Work to Identify Bodies in Brooks County Play Video

    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 »
  • Money Seizure May Benefit Brooks County Play Video

    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 »
  • CBP Releases Details about Checkpoint Expansion Play Video

    May 21, 2014 10:39 PM

    BROOKS COUNTY - Border Patrol officials say construction on a new checkpoint south of Falfurrias could begin by the end of the summer. The plan calls for the demolition of the current 2-acre checkpoint to make room for a 34-acre complex. The project's completion date is the winter... more »
  • Agents Discover Meth Inside Fire Extinguishers Play Video

    April 23, 2014 4:20 PM

    FALFURRIAS - Border Patrol agents confiscated millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine at the Falfurrias checkpoint. A drug-sniffing dog alerted agents to four fire extinguishers inside a toolbox on a truck. The agents found nearly 86 pounds of the drug stuffed into the extinguishers. The meth has an... more »
  • More than $1.2 Worth of Meth Found in Truck Play Video

    April 4, 2014 12:41 PM

    FALFURRIAS - More than a million dollars' worth of crystal methamphetamine is off the streets. Border Patrol agents seized 37 pounds of the drug at the Falfurrias checkpoint Wednesday. Inspection officials found the meth inside a hidden compartment in the rear seat of a Ford F-150. The bundles were... more »
  • Agents Seize Millions Worth of Marijuana

    March 31, 2014 11:02 PM

    EDINBURG - Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley sector confiscated more than $14.4 million worth of marijuana in multiple seizures last week. The largest seizure happened Tuesday morning at the Falfurrias checkpoint. The drugs were found after a dog alerted to a tractor-trailer during an immigration inspection.... more »
  • 2 Killed Crossing US 281 Play Video

    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 »
  • Brooks County goes from Boom to Bust Play Video

    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 »
  • Immigrant Fires at Agent in Brooks County Play Video

    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 »
  • Authorities Investigating after Border Patrol Agent Fired Handgun Play Video

    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 »
  • Border Patrol Agents Seize Ammunition, Marijuana Play Video

    February 24, 2014 5:19 PM

    STARR COUNTY - Border Patrol agents seized more than 36,000 rounds of ammunition and approximately $7 million worth of marijuana. The ammunition was seized after agents received a tip about suspicious activity in the Rio Grande City area. During the search, agents saw eight people swimming across the river... more »
  • Border Patrol agents Rescue Four Immigrants Near Falfurrias

    February 6, 2014 10:59 AM

    FALFURRIAS - Border Patrol agents have rescued four immigrants from the South Texas brush while the body of another person were discovered. Officials announced two rescues in areas near the Falfurrias checkpoint. They say two men from Honduras who were in the U.S. illegally were abandoned by a human smuggler.... more »
  • K-9 Alerts Agents to $2.5 Million Worth of Marijuana Play Video

    February 4, 2014 12:56 PM

    FALFURRIAS - The driver of a tractor-trailer is in custody, after Border Patrol agents found thousands of pounds of marijuana in the vehicle. The drugs were found at the Falfurrias checkpoint yesterday. A Border Patrol spokesman said a K-9 alerted agents to the semi. Agents searched it and seized... more »
  • Agents Recovering Following Helicopter's Emergency Landing Play Video

    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 »
  • Charges Filed in Deadly Smuggling Case Play Video

    November 26, 2013 4:23 PM

    WESLACO - Authorities on Tuesday filed smuggling charges against a man responsible for a crash that left five illegal immigrants dead in Falfurrias, officials said. Manuel Rendon Lucas is accused of driving a Chevy Trailblazer loaded with illegal immigrants. Falfurrias police tried to pull over the vehicle but... more »
  • Tip Led to Drug Bust at Checkpoint Play Video

    November 18, 2013 1:02 PM

    FALFURRIAS - A tip to an Hidalgo County drug task force led to a cocaine bust at the Falfurrias checkpoint. It happened Saturday. Agents searched a Ford truck and found 16 pounds of drugs that were hidden in an airbag compartment and the truck's ventilation system. The drugs... more »
  • Band Members Jailed After Cocaine Bust Play Video

    November 4, 2013 5:19 PM

    WESLACO - Several members of norteño band Zinzzero are behind bars on drug charges. State trooper allegedly found cocaine on their bus at the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint. Troopers said the multi-million dollar load was in a hidden compartment. Eight men, including six band members, were charged with... more »
  • Almost 2 Tons of Marijuana Found in Frozen Mango Pulp Play Video

    October 23, 2013 1:02 PM

    FALFURRIAS - Border Patrol seized almost two tons of marijuana, which was hidden in frozen mango pulp. Agents found the drugs in a tractor-trailer at a checkpoint in Falfurrias. A drug dog alerted them to the marijuana. Agents had to wait for the pulp to thaw, before they... more »
  • US 281 Closed Due to Tractor-Trailer Fire

    September 8, 2013 10:17 AM

    FALFURRIAS - TxDOT crews are re-routing traffic after a tractor-trailer catches fire north of the Falfurrias checkpoint on U.S. Highway 281. Texas Department of Public Safety Sergeant Johnny Hernandez tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS traffic from heading north on 281 out of the Valley is getting re-routed to State... more »
  • Digging Up Graves of Undocumented Immigrants Play Video

    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 »
  • Falfurrias Man Sentenced for Role in Human Smuggling Operation

    March 1, 2013 12:11 PM

    CORPUS CHRISTI - A 32-year-old Falfurrias man was sentenced for his role in a human smuggling operation that resulted in the death of a Mexican national. Lewey Martinez was ordered to serve about 9.5 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Prosecutors said Martinez arranged for guides... more »
  • Illegal Immigrants Turn to News Crew for Help

    February 5, 2013 7:42 PM

    WESLACO - Two illegal immigrants are on their way back to Guatemala after they asked a CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew to help them get back home. The news crew had just passed the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint when the two men flagged down Reporter Shelley Childers and Photographer Rick... more »
  • Cloned Police SUV Confiscated in Falfurrias

    February 4, 2013 7:35 PM

    BROOKS COUNTY - Falfurrias authorities say their officers confiscated a cloned police SUV. Investigators said the SUV is one of the latest cloned vehicles confiscated in the region. "It's just a constant flow, a constant flow of vehicles coming in and out of this county having to do... more »
  • Border Patrol Agents Make Several High-Level Arrests

    August 28, 2012 1:00 PM

    FALFURRIAS - Border Patrol agents caught several suspects wanted for serious crimes. Those arrested included a man wanted for robbery out of Cameron County, three aggravated felons and two members of the Mara Salvatruchas, also known as MS-13. The suspects were caught near Fort Brown, Falfurrias and along the... more »
  • Officials: Smugglers Willing to Risk Everything to Escape

    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 »
  • Border Patrol Rescues Immigrants in 3 Separate Incidents

    July 23, 2012 8:10 PM

    EDINBURG - U.S. Border Patrol agents saved the lives of 15 illegal immigrants Saturday. Officials said the first rescue happened when members of the Border Patrol's Search Trauma and Rescue team from the Rio Grande Valley Sector received a call from the Brooks County Sheriff's Office about three illegal... more »
  • Three Bodies Found on South Texas Ranchland

    July 19, 2012 7:15 AM

    EDINBURG, Texas (AP) - Border Patrol agents have found the bodies of three suspected illegal immigrants in parched areas of South Texas. The Border Patrol in Edinburg on Wednesday announced the suspecte heat-related deaths and warned about the dangers of extreme summer temperatures and rugged terrain. Agents on Sunday discovered... more »
  • Heat Likely Cause of Death for 3 Illegal Immigrants

    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 »
  • Border Patrol Setting up Beacons, Landmarks

    May 14, 2012 5:03 PM

    WESLACO - U.S. Border Patrol agents are using the new border strategy to rescue immigrants near the checkpoint. Border Patrol agents predict a more efficient response to a call for help. They're using part of the latest Border Patrol strategy to find immigrants in the brush. CHANNEL 5 NEWS... more »
  • New Southbound Highway 281 Lanes Open in Falfurrias

    May 9, 2012 12:54 PM

    FALFURRIAS - There's a traffic alert in Falfurrias. Workers plan to move southbound Highway 281 traffic onto the new main lanes in the area. Drivers are advised to follow signs directing traffic onto the new section of the highway. Also, northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane. ... more »
  • 10 Illegal Immigrants Killed in Crashes This Week

    April 11, 2012 6:10 PM

    PALMVIEW - An accident in Falfurrias involving illegal immigrants is the third incident reported this week. Border Patrol agents are looking for a group in the brush south of Falfurrias. Agents say the group was traveling in a truck near the checkpoint. The driver reportedly lost control and crashed... more »
  • Air Support Called as Agents Search for Illegal Immigrants

    April 11, 2012 4:40 PM

    SOUTH OF FALFURRIAS - Border Patrol agents are searching for illegal immigrants in the brush south of the Falfurrias checkpoint. Border Patrol agents were chasing a group of illegal immigrants in a truck. We're told the driver veered off the road and crashed into a fence. Four people were... more »
  • Hotel Owner in Brooks County Says Illegal Immigrants Are Frequent Problem

    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 »
  • The Journey: Searching For Immigrants in Trouble

    February 9, 2012 11:58 PM

    NEAR FALFURRIAS - Under the hot South Texas sun, time is of the essence. Border Patrol agent Joe Puebla knows he has only so long to catch illegal immigrants moving through the brush before they get away or die. Puebla is one of only 300 agents on the Border... more »

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