US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Willcox Agents Thwart Two Human Smuggling Events Over Holiday Weekend

Release Date: 
December 26, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents from the Willcox Station arrested two U.S. citizens, and three illegal aliens, in two separate smuggling incidents over the holiday weekend.

The first incident occurred Friday at the State Route 90 Immigration Checkpoint near Whetstone, Arizona, where agents working the primary inspection lane encountered a 2008 Chevy Cobalt with a 20-year-old Phoenix woman and male Mexican national inside. During immigration questioning, agents discovered the male was illegally present in the country.

Willcox canine team patrolling State Route 80 stopped a northbound Buick Lacrosse for an immigration inspection
Willcox canine team patrolling State
Route 80 stopped a northbound Buick
Lacrosse for an immigration inspection

Upon searching the vehicle, agents also discovered another male Mexican national illegally present in the country, hiding in the trunk. The driver and the both illegal aliens, ages 49 and 23, were arrested. The vehicle was seized and transported to the Willcox Station for processing.

Sunday, a Willcox canine team patrolling State Route 80 stopped a northbound Buick Lacrosse for an immigration inspection. During the stop, the canine alerted to an odor it is trained to detect coming from the vehicle.

Agents searched the trunk and discovered a 23-year-old Mexican male illegally present in the country, hiding inside. The driver, a 61-year-old male Arizona resident, and the illegal alien were arrested. The vehicle was seized and brought to the Willcox Station for processing.

The illegal aliens from both incidents are being processed for immigration violations per Tucson Sector guidelines. Both U.S. drivers are facing human smuggling charges.

Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.

Last modified: 
December 28, 2017