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12 illegal immigrants were discovered hiding in West Texas desert caves this past weekend — among them, a convicted rapist. 📷 U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

PRESIDIO, Texas — A convicted rapist was among 12 illegal immigrants captured in West Texas desert caves this past weekend, according to Border Patrol.

On Saturday, November 30, 2019, at approximately 9 p.m., Border Patrol agents assigned to the Presidio Station observed footprints of several individuals traveling north from the Rio Grande River.

With assistance from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Alpine Air Unit's AS350 helicopter, Border Patrol agents discovered 12 illegal immigrants hiding in desert caves.

According to Border Patrol, the illegal immigrants were wearing camouflage and had carpet on the soles of their shoes to hide their footprints while traveling in the desert.

The individuals were later determined to be citizens and nationals of Guatemala and Mexico, illegally present in the United States. Among them, Border Patrol identified Jose Jose Baltazar, a citizen of Guatemala, who had been convicted of third-degree rape in Indiana, sentenced to five years in prison, and removed on January 23, 2019, to Guatemala.

Baltazar was arrested in 2015 by the Seymour Police Department in Indiana on the rape charge and later convicted and sentenced. His previous order of removal will be reinstated and he will again be removed to Guatemala at the conclusion of his immigration court hearing and sentencing, according to Border Patrol.

“The apprehensions made by our agents in the desert of West Texas have a direct impact on the safety of the communities in which we live and work.” stated Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak. “They also have a direct impact on the communities in the interior of the United States, this individual previously pleaded guilty to rape and he will not be going back to that community.”

The remaining illegal immigrants were processed according to the applicable immigration laws, stated the agency.

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