Okaloosa deputies arrest six illegals including previously arrested human smuggler

Posted on March 4, 2019 by Staff reports

New Orleans Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a 41-year-old Honduras man Feb. 28 in Okaloosa County, Fla., who had previously been wanted for assault of a Border Patrol agent.

Edwin Edgardo Tercero and five other occupants of his vehicle were apprehended by Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 10 as part of an Operation Stonegarden patrol, a U.S. Border Patrol/Federal Emergency Management Agency grant program designed to enhance border security by partnering with state, local, and tribal agencies to patrol key routes of ingress into the United States.

During the traffic stop, Border Patrol agents were called for assistance, and after questioning, found that all six occupants were in the country illegally and that Tercero had previously been arrested by USBP agents on May 7, 2018 in Gulfport, Miss., on suspicion of alien smuggling and illegal activity, but had run away after assaulting the arresting agent. The agent was uninjured in the assault.

“The apprehension of this illegal alien smuggler is noteworthy in several aspects. In particular, Tercero was a fugitive with a record of assaulting law enforcement officers, and his apprehension highlights the superlative work done by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office as part of ‘Operation Stonegarden,’” said New Orleans Sector Chief Patrol Agent Greg Bovino. “My agents have often commented on the professionalism of Okaloosa deputies, and this arrest again highlights that fact.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Mississippi, Tercero was extradited to Harrison County, Miss., March 1 to face charges of Reentry of Removed Alien and Assault on a Federal Officer. The other occupants of the vehicle were placed under removal proceedings in Alabama.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to Border Patrol by calling (504)-376-2800. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.