Woman arrested after attempting to smuggle 4 people from RGV to Houston, WCSO says

Four people were discovered hiding in a vehicle in a smuggling attempt from the Rio Grande Valley to the Houston area, according to the Wharton County Sheriff's Office. (KPRC)

WHARTON COUNTY, Texas – A woman was arrested Tuesday after being busted attempting to smuggle four people from the Rio Grande Valley into the Houston area, the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office said.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., a member of the WCSO Criminal Interdiction Unit initiated a traffic stop on a 2018 Dodge Journey for a traffic violation on US 59 in the area near Mikeska’s BBQ.

The driver was identified as 30-year-old Mayra Mendoza of Edinburg, Texas.

Several indicators of criminal activity were observed during the course of the traffic stop, which led the deputy to investigate further.

It was revealed that four Hispanic people were hiding inside the vehicle, and were being smuggled from the RGV, bound for Houston.

Three of the people were from Honduras, and one was from El Salvador, investigators said.

Mendoza was arrested for smuggling of persons; a third-degree felony.

The people who were being smuggled were turned over to the custody of U.S. Border Patrol.