Pine Valley, Calif. - Last Thursday evening, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested three suspected alien smugglers and two illegal aliens after questioning the men on northbound Kitchen Creek Road, east of the I-8 checkpoint.
At about 5 p.m., agents encountered a 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck parked near a locked gate on Kitchen Creek Road as three men, all U.S. citizens, were unloading three all-terrain vehicles (ATV) from a trailer attached to the truck. Agents questioned the men and became suspicious of their inconsistent answers. Agents received consent to search the truck which resulted in the discovery of 5.91 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 10 non-prescribed Vicodin pills and drug paraphernalia.
Agents placed a 45-year-old U.S. citizen, and resident of Potrero, Calif. under arrest for possession of narcotics. Agents searched the area near the truck and found two men wearing motorcycle helmets, gloves and dark clothing hiding in nearby brush. The men admitted to being illegal aliens and stated they were transported to the area by the occupants of the Ford Ranger. The aliens said they were to receive rides on the ATVs in an attempt to circumvent the I-8 Border Patrol checkpoint.
The three U.S. citizens were arrested and are in federal custody pending prosecution for alien smuggling. Accompanying the man charged with narcotics possession, were a 46-year-old resident of Boulevard, Calif., and a 45-year-old resident of Campo, Calif. The two illegal aliens were processed and will be voluntarily returned to Mexico. The seized narcotics were turned over to a drug task force.
The U.S. Border Patrol continues to maintain a defense-in-depth enforcement strategy through the use of checkpoints and a focused layered approach to detect, apprehend, and deter smugglers of humans, drugs and other contraband.