23-month-old found during human smuggling venture
Agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations found a toddler who was separated from her mother during a human smuggling venture.
The 23-month-old girl was found late Wednesday after being smuggled into the United States from Mexico, investigators said.
After their illegal entry into the states, the mother became separated from her child.
When border patrol officers near the south Texas border apprehended the mother, she told them smugglers were seeking additional money to return her child. Officers contacted a person in Houston who claimed to be the child's babysitter. After a series of calls, the child was delivered to immigration agents in the city.
According to agents, smuggling arrangements were made to have the child transported to New York for a fee of $9,000.
The girl is currently in Child Protective Services custody. Immigration agents are working with CPS to reunite the child with her mother.