US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Trunk Smuggling Continues as Temperatures Rise

Release Date: 
June 19, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents stopped two weekend attempts to smuggle illegal immigrants into the United States, locked inside vehicle trunks when outside temperatures throughout Arizona exceed 100 degrees.

The first encounter occurred Saturday evening near Benson when a Border Patrol agent responded to assist a Department of Public Safety trooper who had stopped a vehicle for multiple moving violations. While questioning the driver and passenger the DPS trooper learned that two men were locked in the vehicle’s trunk.

When the Border Patrol agent arrived on scene, he saw that both men were drenched in sweat. During questioning, the agent learned that both men freed from the trunk had illegally entered the United States from Mexico.

A second smuggling attempt was thwarted Sunday evening when agents at the immigration checkpoint on State Route 90 near Whetstone referred two Tucson women in a Dodge Charger for a secondary immigration inspection. During the inspection, agents found a male Mexican national concealed in the trunk.

In both cases, the individuals being smuggled did not know how to escape from the trunk in case of an emergency. As temperatures continue to climb, Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials warn that summer is an especially dangerous time to be locked in the trunk of a car, or stranded in Arizona’s desert.

Both weekend incidents resulted in the arrest of four U.S. citizens for human smuggling and three adult Mexican nationals for immigration related violations.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021