Human Smuggling Attempt in Stolen Vehicle Halted by Border Patrol Agents
YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 95 Immigration Checkpoint arrested two United States citizens, one Mexican national, and one Guatemalan national traveling in a stolen vehicle in an attempted smuggling event on Thursday.
At approximately 1 p.m., a white 2000 Mercury Sable entering the primary inspection lane was sent to the secondary inspection area for additional questioning. It was determined that the vehicle was reported stolen out of Arizona City. The 35-year-old male driver and the female 24-year-old passenger, both United States citizens, were placed under arrest.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, agents discovered one 16-year-old Mexican national and one 22-year-old Guatemalan national hidden in the trunk of the vehicle with no means of escape.
The driver will be charged with alien smuggling, and the two foreign nationals will be processed for removal. The Arizona Department of Public Safety seized the vehicle.
Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of criminal activity charges without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless or until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents effectively combat smuggling organizations attempting to illegally transport people and contraband through southwestern Arizona and California. Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.
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.