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U.S. Border Patrol in Southern California Halts Extremely Dangerous Human Smuggling Attempt

Release Date: 
March 29, 2013

SALTON CITY, CALIF.—El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Station apprehended seven Mexican Nationals in a chilling attempt to pass through the Highway 86 checkpoint undetected in the confines of an almost freezing semi-tractor trailer.

The incident occurred on March 28, at approximately 4 a.m., when a 50-year-old male driver approached the Border Patrol checkpoint located between Westmorland and Salton City. A Border Patrol Canine Detection Team alerted to the vehicle, a white semi-tractor trailer. Agents referred the vehicle to secondary inspection. Upon further investigation, agents discovered seven illegal aliens, one 35-year-old female, and six males, ranging in ages from 20 to 52-years-old hidden in the trailer within a load of watermelons. The trailer's temperature was at 48 F.

The driver, a citizen of Mexico illegally present in the U.S, was arrested on suspicion of alien smuggling. The suspect, the vehicle, and seven Mexican Nationals are in Border Patrol custody.

The El Centro Sector's Community Awareness Campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness on the indicators of crime and other threats. We encourage public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play a key role in keeping our country safe. Please report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at (800) 901-2003.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017