SAN DIEGO - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry thwarted an alleged human smuggling attempt and freed a Mexican national after discovering him concealed in a non-factory compartment in a vehicle.
“Smugglers will try every way possible to get their product, or in this case people, across the border,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego. “This method of human smuggling is extremely dangerous as temperatures continue to rise and they have no way of liberating themselves. CBP officers took swift action to free the man and prevented serious injury or death.”
The incident occurred on July 14, at about 12 a.m., when a 53-year-old male Mexican national driving a 2007 Buick Rendezvous was waiting in line to make entry from Mexico. CBP officers roving the area targeted the vehicle, searched the vehicle and discovered a man hidden in a non-factory compartment in the vehicle’s undercarriage.
When the officers extracted the man, they notice he was in medical distress. Officers trained as medical first responders immediately rendered aid to the man and called emergency medical personnel, who then took him to a local hospital. Later that day, the subject was medically cleared and transported back to the port of entry for further processing.
Officers later determined that the driver presented documents not legally issued to him, to enter the United States.
The drivers faces federal charges related to the incident. CBP officers seized the vehicle.
Criminal charges are merely allegations. Defendants are presume innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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.