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Smugglers Continue to Endanger Migrants by Locking Them in Vehicle Trunks

Release Date: 
April 21, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents arrested human smugglers attempting to traffic migrants in the trunk of their vehicles during two incidents.

Nogales Station agents working at the I-19 checkpoint on April 16 referred the driver of a Pontiac sedan for a secondary inspection but the driver sped away. Agents followed the driver until he stopped the vehicle a short time later. During a search of the vehicle, agents discovered a Guatemalan juvenile locked in the trunk with no means of escape.

Douglas Station agents stopped a Buick Le Sabre on April 18 and observed three individuals in the rear seat hiding under a blanket. After confirming that all passengers were illegally present in the United States, the agent searched the vehicle and found three more subjects locked in the trunk. 

Several of the subjects removed from the vehicles said they had no knowledge of a trunk release mechanism. Although none of the individuals involved were injured, traveling with a person in the trunk of a moving vehicle is dangerous due to heat, the possibility of an accident, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Agents processed all vehicles, drivers and undocumented subjects in accordance with Tucson Sector guidelines.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021