HARLINGEN — Border Patrol agents recently were in hot pursuit of a vehicle full of illegal immigrants.

The driver, who was a minor, and five illegal immigrants from Mexico and Honduras were captured after the vehicle crashed into a pole.

While some may think this is a rare occurrence — it’s not.

And it doesn’t slow down over the holidays.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents made significant drug seizures and illegal immigrant detainments from the end of November through the end of December.

“Transnational criminal organizations continue to operate in our backyards with a blatant disregard for the safety of families in our community,” said Chief Border Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla Jr., Sector Chief for the Rio Grande Valley.

CBP agents had their hands full fighting drugs and illegal immigrant smuggling across the U.S. border during the month of December.

The month picked up right away when U.S. Border Patrol agents found 12 illegal immigrants concealed in a tractor-trailer at the Falfurrias checkpoint.

Then, throughout the Christmas weekend, the checkpoint agents stopped 14 illegal immigrant smuggling attempts, detaining 46 people.

Days earlier, Border Patrol agents patrolling the Rio Grande near Santa Maria seized 500 pounds of marijuana.

Seven subjects dumped the vehicle carrying the marijuana and fled, swimming back to Mexico.

On the same day, Dec. 14, agents at Falfurrias found 10 bundles of cocaine in an ice chest.

That same week at the Progreso/Donna Port of Entry, agents seized approximately 400 pounds of marijuana.

In Brownsville, agents intercepted a load of alleged cocaine at the Gateway International Bridge.

CBP officers discovered the narcotics hidden under the clothing of a woman attempting to enter the United States.

“All seizures are significant regardless of the size when it comes to the security of our borders,” said Port Director Petra Horne, of the Brownsville Port of Entry.

“I congratulate our officers for their diligence in performing their duties.”

“These incidents,” Padilla said, “highlight the dedication exemplified by our agents to protect our border, our nation and our communities.”

Significant seizures and detainments

-Nearly $2 million in narcotics during the final days of November at Brownsville Port of Entry CBP officers.

-More than $1.3 million in narcotics on the same day at Hidalgo and Pharr international bridges.

– 14 illegal immigrant smuggling attempts, detaining 46 people on the Christmas holiday weekend at Falfurrias checkpoint.