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Local Tucson Man Arrested for Smuggling People in Trunk

Release Date: 
October 2, 2018

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Station Border Patrol agents arrested a southern Arizona man Saturday afternoon after finding three illegal aliens in the trunk of a Ford Focus during an inspection at the Arivaca Road East Immigration Checkpoint.

Agents sent the 51-year-old U.S. citizen for secondary inspection of the sedan he was driving, where they discovered three adults in the vehicle’s trunk.

Agents removed a 20-year-old Mexican man and two Guatemalan women ages 19 and 38. The 38-year-old woman appeared to be lethargic and severely dehydrated.  Agents called for paramedics to transport the woman to a local hospital.

Agents seized the vehicle and arrested the driver for human smuggling. He will remain in federal custody pending a disposition in his case.

The Guatemalan woman was medically treated and subsequently released. All three illegal aliens were processed for immigration violations.

U.S. Border Patrol continues to warn the public about the dangers of human smuggling.  People can die or become seriously injured when placed in vehicle trunks or compartments not meant for human travel. A lack of oxygen, extreme temperatures, carbon monoxide poisoning, and vehicle collisions pose serious risks to passengers attempting to avoid detection.

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. 

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021