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  4. CBP Officers Discover Three People Hiding in a Specially Built Compartment

CBP Officers Discover Three People Hiding in a Specially Built Compartment

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SAN DIEGO - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry thwarted an alleged human smuggling attempt Friday after discovering three men concealed in a specially built compartment in the cargo area of a vehicle with no easy access to get out without help.
 
“A person’s life is always in danger when smugglers use specially built compartments to smuggle people across the border,” said Sidney Aki, Director of Field Operations for CBP in San Diego.  “Smugglers will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, even if that means risking human lives.”
 
The incident occurred on Friday, April 1, at about 11 a.m., when a 29-year-old male U.S. citizen, driving a 2007 Hyundai Veracruz, applied for entry at the San Ysidro border crossing.  While at the inspection booth, a CBP officer examining the vehicle noticed a person inside the spare tire compartment in the rear cargo area of the vehicle.  The driver was removed and escorted to a secure area and the vehicle was immediately taken to an inspection area.
 
During further inspection of the vehicle CBP officers found a non-factory compartment in the cargo area of the vehicle with people hidden inside.  The CBP officer extracted the three men from the compartment and escorted them to a secure location for further processing.  Officers confirmed that all three men, ages 29, 24 and 21, were Mexican nationals with no status or documents to legally enter the United States.  The three will be returned to Mexico; CBP officers seized the vehicle.
 

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Last Modified: April 6, 2022