TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents from the Sonoita Station found three illegal aliens in the trunk of a vehicle during an immigration inspection late Thursday afternoon on State Route 83, north of Sonoita.
Agents stopped a 1998 Toyota Camry to check the immigration status of the driver, who appeared to be traveling alone. During the encounter, agents obtained consent to open the vehicle’s trunk and, upon doing so, found three adult Mexican males who had entered the U.S. illegally.
Agents arrested the driver, a 56-year-old South Tucson woman, for smuggling and seized the vehicle. The three Mexican nationals are being processed for immigration violations.
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.
Further inspection of the Camry revealed there was no emergency trunk release. Even during monsoon season, Arizona’s summer temperatures can climb dramatically when the sun comes out. Adding the possibilities of being crushed in a rear-end collision, or being poisoned by carbon monoxide, riding in the trunk of a vehicle could be equivalent to a death sentence.
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.