YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents seized a firearm from human smugglers who were attempting to transport two Chinese nationals through the Interstate 8 Immigration Checkpoint Wednesday.
At approximately 11:45 p.m., Wellton Station agents sent a maroon Jeep Cherokee to the secondary inspection area, where agents discovered two passengers were Chinese nationals unlawfully present in the United States. Also in the vehicle were two female U.S. citizens, one from Yuma and the other from Myrtle Creek, Oregon, and one male lawfully admitted for permanent residence from Mexico.
While searching the vehicle, agents discovered a loaded 9mm pistol inside a purse. The U.S. citizens and permanent resident were taken into custody for alien smuggling and the two Chinese nationals were arrested for being unlawfully present in the United States.
One day prior, the Yuma Sector Special Operations Detachment agents recovered another loaded firearm from three subjects who were apprehended while they were smuggling six Mexican nationals into the United States near San Luis.
Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of criminal activity charges 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. Individuals 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.