SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a man suspected of smuggling thirteen illegal aliens concealed under hay bales on the back of a tractor trailer Monday evening.
The incident occurred at approximately 7:25 p.m., when a man driving a flatbed 2007 Strong BTM semi tractor-trailer truck hauling hay bales approached the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint. During an immigration check on the driver, a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the rear area of the conveyance. The driver was referred for further inspection.
During further inspection, Border Patrol agents discovered 13 illegal aliens concealed under several bales of hay on the back of the tractor-trailer. Due to the weight of the hay bales and the manner of placement over and around the individuals, they were trapped inside with no means for escape. Agents safely removed all of the subjects and conducted welfare checks, ensuring no one needed medical aid.
The driver, a 42-year-old illegal alien from Mexico, and 13 illegal aliens, 12 adult men and 1 woman all from Mexico, were placed under arrest.
The driver was processed administratively for alien smuggling. The driver and all 13 illegal aliens were expelled back to Mexico.
This incident is the ninth tractor-trailer smuggling incident this year in the Imperial Valley.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.