Border Patrol agents near Laredo stopped a Chevy Tahoe and arrested twelve passengers and the driver, all whom were immigrants trying to get into the United States illegally. The Chevy was painted to look like one of the agency’s vehicles with “Border Patrol” and “U.S. Customs and Border Protection” on the sides, an official-looking insignia and a green stripe.
Omar Zamora, an agent with the Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley sector, said any Border Patrol agent would have recognized it as a fake. “There’s no fender on any of our vehicles. They are pretty bare and about as high as we can get them because we go off road.”
Over the years there have been many attempts to make law-breaking vehicles look innocent – delivery and telecoms trucks are common – but pretending to be a Border Patrol vehicle is rare. Zamora said, “In the 18 years I’ve been in Border Patrol we’ve seen UPS, FedEx, Time Warner trucks, any kind of clones. Any business you can think of. The smugglers are trying to clone it to avoid law enforcement detection.”