Eight Arrested in Attempted Human Smuggling Event
YUMA, Ariz. – Wellton Station Border Patrol agents arrested a U.S. citizen as he attempted to smuggle seven illegal aliens from Mexico around the Interstate 8 Immigration Checkpoint early Wednesday.
At approximately 7:02 a.m., agents conducted an immigration stop on a white 2010 Ford E350 as it was traveling through Dome Valley. The driver, a 36-year-old male U.S. citizen from San Luis, tried to blend in with local labor traffic. All seven of the passengers were identified as Mexican nationals unlawfully present in the United States whose ages ranged from 14 to 36 years old.
“This interdiction highlights our need to maintain a strong enforcement posture in Dome Valley, which is the main bypass route for the 1155 Immigration Checkpoint. The adversary routinely attempts to mimic legitimate traffic in this area, but our vigilant agents are trained to perceive indications of illicit behavior,” said Wellton Station’s Patrol Agent in Charge Kevin Villegas.
The driver was arrested for transporting and harboring illegal aliens. The seven illegal aliens were processed for immigration violations.
Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.
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.