Brownsville officer facing charges after boyfriend smuggled into Texas from Mexico

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Brownsville Police Officer Valeria Rivas was allegedly found searching for her boyfriend on Padre Island, not knowing he was arrested hours before. (KTRK)

A Brownsville police officer is facing federal human smuggling charges after she was allegedly found searching for her undocumented boyfriend at the National Seashore on Padre Island.

According to an affidavit, Valerie Rivas was arrested on February 26 by a Border Patrol agent after she was spotted lying in a fetal position in some sand dunes.

Rivas allegedly went to the seashore to find her boyfriend of 12 years when he failed to call her after being smuggled into the country illegally.

The affidavit alleges Rivas' boyfriend, identified as Alfredo Salazar-Hernandez, was going to be smuggled from Brownsville to Victoria via South Padre Island on February 24.

When Salazar-Hernandez didn't make it to Victoria, Rivas allegedly went looking for him.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter spotted Rivas in the sand dunes following an earlier immigration arrest there on the national seashore. Salazar-Hernandez and another man were arrested hours before Border Patrol agents found Rivas, the affidavit states.

Rivas allegedly told investigators she was hiding in the dunes because "she knew that it was illegal to transport illegal aliens and did not want to be apprehended doing so," the affidavit reads.

Rivas is out of jail on a $20,000 bond.
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arrestsmugglingofficer chargedtexas newsimmigrationcoast guardborder patrolCorpus Christi
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