Smuggling ring put migrants in suitcases, water tanks: Prosecutors

The indictments come amid an unprecedented migration surge under the Biden administration.

Updated: September 13, 2022 - 7:54pm

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Authorities on Tuesday announced indictments as part of a smuggling ring that allegedly brought migrants into the U.S. by storing them in suitcases and water tanks.

Federal authorities indicted eight individuals, a majority of whom are U.S. citizens, for smuggling hundreds of people into the U.S. from Mexico, according to Reuters.

Erminia Serrano Piedra, 31, of Texas led the operation, prosecutors allege. The scheme generated millions of dollars during its operation. Serrano Piedra deposited more than $1.3 million into bank accounts over the period of 2017-2021, according to an unsealed pre-trial motion. Moreover, she allegedly only reported $120,000 of that figure to relevant financial institutions, per the outlet.

The indictments come amid an unprecedented migration surge under the Biden administration. In late July, the United Nations International Organization for Migration labelled the southern border the "deadliest land crossing in the world."

President Joe Biden holds an average approval rating of 33.7% on immigration, according to RealClearPolitics.