Border Patrol agents discovered over 40 undocumented people at a stash house in Monte Alto on Monday after conducting surveillance at the home, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Agents watching the home saw a Chevrolet Silverado arrive, drop off four people and pick one up before leaving the location, the affidavit said.
Authorities conducted a traffic stop on the Silverado and questioned the driver, Joaquin Antonio Gonzalez Esqueda, about his involvement in human smuggling. He admitted he dropped off four individuals at the residence, according to court documents.
The affidavit said authorities also interviewed his passenger, Marcos Esteban Peraza Guajardo, a citizen of El Salvador. Guajardo told agents he and several others were held in a stash house, where he was picked up by “Guerro,” aka Gonzalez, to take him north.
Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen, said he didn’t have access to the property and couldn’t provide agents consent to search the house, the document said.
According to the affidavit, investigators conducted a knock and talk at the residence and searched the home with the property owner, who said Gonzalez was his tenant.
Agents said 40 people stepped outside and two more were found inside during their search.
All of them were illegally present in the U.S.
At the Weslaco Border Patrol Station,agents determined that Alberto Gutierrez Diaz, aka “Flaco,” was also involved in transporting and harboring people at the residence, the document said.
Agents saw Gutierrez taking groceries and water into the house on Friday.
Gonzalez, Gutierrez and the other 40 people were placed under arrest.