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Six illegal immigrants were apprehended by Texas state police on Sunday upon their arrival at the Mid Valley Airport. Among those taken into custody by officers was a deported felon who is wanted in Wisconsin for the sexual assault of a child.

According to The Epoch Times, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) conducted a joint operation with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) along with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) who were successful in disrupting an attempt at human smuggling. The agencies involved dubbed the swoop “Operation Lone Star” and arrested a total of six undocumented migrants who attempted to charter a plane from Weslaco, Texas. Four males and two females from El Salvador and Mexico were busted carrying fake Texas ID cards.

Apart from the 6 illegal immigrants arrested, a 21-year-old female suspect with U.S. citizenship, Desiree Love Rodarte, was also arrested together with two other male suspects, Luis Armando Lopez-Alvarado, 29, and James Martinez, 24. All three are believed to be involved in coordinating the smuggling attempt into Houston. The undocumented individuals were turned over to the United States Border Patrol (CBP) while the three suspects are now in police custody and facing federal charges for human smuggling and harboring aliens.

Based on reports, agents spotted several vehicles arriving at the airport around 11 a.m. and dropped off seven individuals who then boarded a chartered Raytheron plane. Authorities said the agents did a ramp check and managed to identify the individuals.

The operation is the third sting operation against human smuggling in the last 30 days conducted by the DPS where they have caught chartered planes attempting to smuggle undocumented individuals into the U.S. State authorities said they were able to intercept a flight carrying 19 illegal immigrants in McAllen, Texas last week.

Transactions for smuggling arrangements are said to cost thousands of dollars for anyone looking to get a seat on these smuggling flights. Lt. Chirs Olivares revealed that in one certain case last August, one captured migrant was said to have paid $11,000 to fly from the Dominican Republic and be taken to Houston. These charters also leave pilots unaware of who their passengers are. Most of the time, they are only provided with a list of names of the passengers who are not required to verify their identity.

Representation Image Charter private plane RobMcC171/ Pixabay

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