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CBP Officers Rescue Teen Stuffed in Dashboard Compartment

Release Date: 
November 26, 2019

CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico West port of entry Monday thwarted a dangerous human-smuggling attempt after discovering a teen concealed in a dashboard compartment of a vehicle.


The incident occurred at about 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 25, when a 28-year-old man and his 21-year-old male passenger, entered the Calexico West port driving a 2001 Ford Taurus. A CBP officer referred all occupants and vehicle for further examination.


CBP Officers conducted a physical search of the vehicle and discovered a teenager hiding inside a dashboard compartment.


Officers extracted the teen, a 17-year-old Mexican citizen, and escorted him to a secure location for health checks and further processing.  Record checks revealed the teen was previously apprehended in March 2019 attempting to illegally enter the U.S. at the Otay Mesa port of entry using a document that did not legally belong to him.


“Smuggling a person in a confined space is dangerous and can have serious consequences,” said Officer in Charge Sergio Beltran. “In this instance no one was seriously injured during this attempted illegal entry.”


The driver and passenger, both U.S. citizens, were arrested and later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await criminal proceedings.


CBP seized the vehicle.


Being smuggled in confined spaces is a dangerous scheme and can lead to serious injuries and or death as in this article from 2014: Human smuggling attempt two dead.


Last modified: 
February 3, 2021