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  4. El Centro Sector Border Patrol Sees Spike in Tractor-Trailer Smuggling Trend

El Centro Sector Border Patrol Sees Spike in Tractor-Trailer Smuggling Trend

Release Date
Thu, 04/23/2020

SALTON CITY, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents with El Centro Sector are notifying the public about a disturbing trend of smugglers attempting to use tractor-trailers to smuggle people.  On Monday evening, agents stopped the fourth attempt of this type over the last four months.

El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino stands in front of a  seized tractor-trailer used during the smuggling event on Monday.The incident occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m., when agents were conducting surveillance on a white 2012 International Prostar tractor-trailer traveling northbound on Highway 86.  Subsequently, agents followed the tractor-trailer as it approached the Border Patrol immigration checkpoint on Highway 86. 

During inspection, while Border Patrol agents conducted an immigration check on the driver,  a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the cab area of the truck. Agents referred the tractor-trailer aside for further inspection.

While in the secondary inspection area, Border Patrol agents observed three people jump out of the truck cab, attempting to abscond.  Agents quickly detained the three subjects that included two adult males and one unaccompanied female juvenile who were determined to be undocumented immigrants.

The male driver, a 36-year-old Mexican national, and the three undocumented immigrants from Mexico were placed under arrest.  All four subjects were repatriated back to their country of origin.  

“The increase in tractor-trailer smuggling continues to illustrate the total disregard that smuggling organizations have for the well-being of the people they are smuggling,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino.  “Our agents will continue to work tirelessly in protecting the safety and security of all human life.”

In March, El Centro Sector agents discovered 42 smuggled immigrants dangerously packed inside of a utility trailer near the border in Calexico.  Additionally, there were two similar smuggling events that occurred in January and February of this year. 

Since the start of this calendar year, El Centro Sector agents have removed 86 undocumented immigrants from potentially life threatening human smuggling situations.

Last Modified: Feb 03, 2021