PINE VALLEY, Calif.—U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a male U.S. citizen at the Interstate 8 checkpoint last night who had three Mexican nationals stashed inside his car trunk.
At approximately 7 p.m., Border Patrol agents at the Pine Valley checkpoint encountered a 19-year-old man driving a gold Toyota Avalon. Following a canine alert, agents searched the vehicle’s trunk and found three men inside who were packed closely together and sweating profusely.
An immigration inspection was conducted and all three men were determined to be Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S. The driver was arrested and faces alien smuggling charges. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
“The blatant disregard for human life by criminal organizations involved in human smuggling is despicable. There is no escape for those individuals forced into the trunk of a vehicle by the smugglers,” said David BeMiller, Patrol Agent in Charge of the Campo Station. “Thanks to the vigilance of the Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 8 checkpoint, these individuals were rescued and the smuggler will face prosecution. The utilization of checkpoints throughout San Diego Sector further enhances our ability to target illicit activity and keep communities safe.”
The San Diego Sector apprehended 29,911 people for entering the U.S. illegally during the 2014 fiscal year.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.