YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Blythe Station arrested two United States citizens attempting to smuggle two Mexican nationals through the Highway 78 immigration checkpoint by hiding them in the trunk of a vehicle Saturday afternoon.
At approximately 4 p.m., agents referred a 2013 Chrysler 200 to the secondary inspection area of the checkpoint after a canine alerted to an odor it is trained to detect. During a search of the vehicle, agents discovered two undocumented Mexican nationals hiding in the trunk. Agents observed that the two men, who were in the country illegally, were sweating profusely and visibly disoriented. Agents promptly removed the two men from the trunk and provided them with water. The two men told agents they were in the trunk for approximately one hour.
A continued search of the vehicle’s interior revealed two oxycodone pills and 16 pieces of drug paraphernalia.
The 31-year-old male driver had an extensive criminal history with 16 prior arrests for various charges to include a felony conviction for aggravated assault. The 28-year-old male passenger also had several prior arrests and convictions for theft, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Agents arrested the two U.S. citizens and seized the vehicle, drugs and drug paraphernalia. The U.S. citizens will be presented for prosecution of 8 U.S. Code 1324, alien smuggling.
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents operate immigration checkpoints to prevent these types of smuggling events. Smuggling organizations will put undocumented aliens in harm’s way without consideration for their safety in an effort to transport them further into the interior of the country.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.