The agency said that since Oct. 1, the beginning of Fiscal Year 2021, agents in the sector have arrested 95 convicted sex offenders — making a 3,166% increase over the same timeframe last fiscal year.
The staggering figure comes as agents picked up 10 convicted sex offenders in just a week. The arrests were made between May 17 and 24, with nationals from Honduras and Mexico among those arrested.
The convictions of those apprehended include forcible sexual assault, sexual assault of a child under 14, sexual conduct with a person under 13, statutory rape, second-degree sexual assault of a child, and lewd and lascivious acts with a child.
“The majority of these criminals were apprehended in our sector’s most remote areas, attempting to avoid detection by crossing far from populated areas,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin Skero said in a statement. “Our agents’ sign cutting and tracking skills were instrumental in capturing these criminals, preventing them from infiltrating our communities.”
Meanwhile, Border patrol agents in El Centro Sector have arrested three illegal immigrants with prior sex crime convictions since Saturday – including one who was in a vehicle suspected of being used for human smuggling, the agency said. El Centro has arrested 27 illegal immigrants with either sex crime convictions or who are wanted or charges.
One of those migrants, a Honduran, had previously served eight months in prison after being convicted in 2017 for sexual battery. He had previously been ordered deported in 2010.
“I am proud of our highly trained, always professional agents, this time from Calexico Station, for finding and arresting this convicted sex predator. Springfield, Tennessee, we have your back. Border security is community safety,” El Centro Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino said in a statement.
The arrests come amid continued concerns about criminal illegal immigrants coming through the border — sometimes through ports of entry and sometimes as part of a group of migrants trying to enter illegally. More than 178,000 migrants were encountered by agents in April, but agents have estimated that as many as 1,000 migrants a day are getting past law enforcement.
Agents have told Fox News that smugglers will often drop groups of unaccompanied children in one area, so adult migrants can sneak past in another area as overwhelmed agents attend to the children.
Last week, Customs and Border Protection announced that agents near Abrams, Texas arrested a Salvadoran man who had been arrested in Washington for the rape of a child and later convicted and sentenced to 34 months in prison and community service.
The migrant group he was traveling with included one unaccompanied child, CBP said in a release.
Earlier this month, agents in Mission, Texas, arrested a 49-year-old Salvadoran who had entered the U.S. illegally and had a previous conviction for sexual contact of a 9-year-old in New York City. He was sentenced in 2014 to a year in jail for second-degree sexual abuse.
Last month, the agency announced that in a span of just two days it had picked up three convicted child sex offenders among groups of illegal immigrants. One had been charged with aggravated sexual battery of a victim under 13 and was later convicted in Virginia.