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CBP Officers Halt Attempt to Smuggle Pregnant Woman in Secret Compartment

Release Date: 
June 30, 2014

CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry Friday thwarted a human-smuggling attempt after discovering a pregnant woman concealed in a specially-built compartment in a vehicle.

The incident occurred at about 4:30 a.m. on June 27, when a 63-year-old female entered the downtown port driving a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria.  CBP officers targeted the vehicle and referred the driver for further examination.

Officers utilized the port’s imaging system and discovered anomalies in the vehicle’s rear seats.  A CBP human and narcotics detector dog alerted to the area, leading officers to the discovery of a pregnant woman hiding inside an electronically-accessed hidden compartment.

Officers extracted the woman, a 22-year-old Mexican citizen, from the compartment and escorted her to a secure location for further processing. 

The driver, a U.S. citizen and resident of El Centro, was arrested and later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await criminal arraignment.

CBP seized the vehicle.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021