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  4. 12 Undocumented Individuals Arrested Inside a Train

12 Undocumented Individuals Arrested Inside a Train

Release Date
Tue, 11/30/2021

NILAND, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested 12 undocumented individuals on a freight train near Mecca, Calif., in an attempt to circumvent the Highway 111 checkpoint Monday morning. 

At approximately 8:45 a.m., agents observed 12 undocumented individuals inside an empty cargo container. Agents arrested and transported the undocumented individuals to the Highway 111 checkpoint for further processing. 

When agents conducted welfare checks of the group, one individual complained of pain to his left arm. Agents were able to see significant swelling of the elbow and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were dispatched to their location and rendered first aid. While EMS was on scene a second individual claimed to be diabetic and said he was dizzy. EMS determined both individuals needed additional medical attention and were transported to a nearby hospital where both were treated and cleared for travel. 

While being processed, Jose Jesus Villanueva-Canchola, a 32-year-old Mexican national self-admitted to being a Sureño gang member with criminal and immigration history. Canchola was convicted for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance with a sentence of ninety-seven months in prison. This undocumented individual also has multiple re-entries after deportation and was previously ordered to be removed from the U.S. by an immigration judge.

All twelve individuals, Mexican nationals, were taken into custody and transported to the El Centro Processing Center to be processed accordingly. 

For all news, information, and updates related to the El Centro Border Patrol Sector, follow us on El Centro Facebook EL Centro Twitter and Instagram. Visit to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 


Last Modified: Oct 25, 2023