McALLEN — In response to the increase in drug trafficking and human smuggling in its Rio Grande Valley Sector, the U.S. Border Patrol has deployed a contingent of agents from other sectors, officials said.
The new agents have arrived in the area and are part of a flexible mobile workforce sent to the Valley to augment the agency’s current operations, said Border Patrol spokesman Enrique Mendiola.
The added agents come after an ongoing increase in drug and human smuggling that has caused the agency’s apprehensions to climb over 100,000 since October 2012. The trend shows an eastward shift from years past, when most of the smuggling was done through the Arizona desert. An increase of manpower and federal resources deployed to that area has caused a shift in smuggling routes to the Rio Grande Valley, statistics show.
Mendiola wouldn’t discuss the number of agents redeployed to the RGV Sector, but he confirmed that they will be stationed in the area until a series of objectives are met. One of those objectives: the displacement of transnational criminal organizations working in the area.
The added agents are in addition to the 2,800 agents who already were patrolling the RGV Sector. That figure is expected to increase to 3,100 by next year, when seven new classes of agents will join the local ranks.