TUCSON, Ariz. – On Wednesday, when temperatures topped 100 degrees across southern Arizona, Border Patrol agents rescued five migrants from the trunks of vehicles during three risky smuggling attempts at immigration checkpoints.
The first of three events occurred at 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon at the immigration checkpoint on I-19, north of Tubac, Arizona. After a Border Patrol canine alerted to a brown Cadillac during inspection, agents searched the car and found two Mexican nationals trapped in the trunk. The driver and the passenger were placed under arrest. Prior to being placed in the trunk, one of the young illegal immigrants had been injured when she illegally crossed the border near Nogales, Arizona. Agents helped her from the vehicle and she was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.
A few hours later at approximately 5:00 p.m., agents at the SR 85 immigration checkpoint near Ajo, Arizona reported that a vehicle fled from the checkpoint during an immigration inspection. Agents located the vehicle after a brief search, which had lost a tire while fleeing. The driver had abandoned the vehicle with two Mexican nationals locked in the trunk. Agents quickly rescued the two men and attempted to locate the driver. The search for the driver is ongoing.
Just after 7:00 p.m. at the SR 80 immigration checkpoint north of Tombstone, Arizona, agents discovered a Mexican national locked in the trunk of a car after a Border Patrol canine alerted to the vehicle. The driver and the passenger were placed under arrest for alien smuggling.
All three incidents occurred on a day with near record high temperatures and all smuggling victims had no means to escape. Smuggling a person inside the trunk of a car is extremely dangerous, a risk amplified during summertime conditions. Smuggling attempts like these highlight the cruel and unfortunate treatment of people in the hands of criminal organizations. Human life is valuable, and Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents are working diligently to counteract this criminal threat and create a safer border environment.
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.