SAN CLEMENTE, CALIF.—U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man at the San Clemente checkpoint on Sunday for human smuggling and recovered a stolen vehicle being used in the illicit activity.
Agents encountered the driver of a 2008 white Mercedes and his three passengers at approximately 11:15 p.m., as they arrived at the checkpoint. The 23-year-old male U.S. citizen driver displayed a nervous demeanor. Agents observed that his three male passengers were wearing dirty clothing and wearing cloth booties over their shoes (which are typically used to conceal footprints when crossing the border illegally).
Border Patrol agents questioned the three men who admitted they were Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S. Agents arrested the driver and three men. Records checks on the vehicle revealed a Carlsbad, Calif., resident reported it stolen on May 4, 2013.
The driver of the vehicle is being held in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody on charges of alien smuggling. The three Mexican nationals also are being held in DHS custody. The vehicle was seized as evidence.
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.