PINE VALLEY, CALIF.—On Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered two Mexican nationals hidden inside the trunk of a car following a pursuit on Interstate 8.
At approximately 3 p.m., agents working at the I-8 checkpoint referred a 2000 Mercury sedan for a secondary inspection. The 28-year-old U.S. citizen driver and his 25-year old male passenger proceeded toward the secondary inspection area. The driver suddenly accelerated and sped through the checkpoint. Agents pursued the fleeing vehicle on Interstate 8 and as agents approached the vehicle, the driver yielded approximately one mile east of Highway 79 and pulled over onto the shoulder of the road.
Agents arrested the driver and his passenger, searched the vehicle, and discovered two people hidden inside the trunk who were suffering from heat-related exhaustion. After ensuring their safety, agents questioned the two individuals and determined they were Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S. A 50-year-old female and 43-year-old male were transported to a nearby station with the driver and passenger. A records check later revealed an outstanding felony warrant on the Mexican male subject for narcotics possession and a failure to appear in court.
All four subjects were turned over to Department of Homeland Security custody. The driver and passenger face Federal charges for alien smuggling. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation's borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.
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.