SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station arrested 14 undocumented immigrants hiding in the bed of a dump truck this morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 4:40 a.m., when a white 1997 Ford Dump Truck approached the Highway 86 checkpoint.
During primary inspection Border Patrol agents questioned the driver as to his immigration status and asked for consent to further inspect the truck, the driver consented and was sent to secondary.
After further inspection of the truck, Border Patrol agents discovered 14 undocumented immigrants in the bed of the truck.
The people inside of the dump truck were unsecured with no means of safety in the bed of the truck. They were also unable to get out of the truck without help as a heavy duty carp covered the bed and was securely latched down over the top of the truck.
“This is an example of the blatant disregard for human life and safety to those being smuggled by these smuggling organizations,” said David S. Kim Assistant Chief Patrol Agent. “This could have turned into a very bad situation if the vehicle would have gotten in an accident or left unattended for a long period of time.”
The driver, a 36-year-old Border Crossing Card holder, was taken into custody along with one female and 13 males.
The man will be prosecuted for 8 USC 1324 alien smuggling and the fourteen subjects are being processed according to El Centro Sector Guidelines.
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.