Smugglers target Boca Chica as traffic grows
Smuggling along the coast is a challenge for multiple law enforcement agencies working to stop it. When it comes to catching smugglers along the border, there's one area in particular that's uniquely challenging, according to U.S. Border Patrol agents.
The Border Patrol’s Riverine unit mainly focuses on the Boca Chica area. They say it’s wild out there, but that’s changing.
The end of Boca Chica Beach is a beautiful lookout for tourists, but smugglers are also using it.
“The establishment of SpaceX, there's been an increase in legitimate traffic," Border Patrol Agent Christian Alvarez said. “[Smugglers] know that with more vehicle traffic, it's just easier for them to mix in with that batch."
Traffic that isn't caught in that area can move quickly up the coast by boat.
"We've got to be cognizant that they could cross through the river, but also that they might take the open waters,” Border Patrol Agent Christian Alvarez said. “That's where the coordinated effort comes into place. We contact the Coast Guard, other agencies that are in charge of patrolling the open waters and advise them there might be some illicit activity occurring."
Smugglers are looking to maneuver on the river, Highway 4, the beach and the open water.
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