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.
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.