Nine undocumented immigrants found inside trailer
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents arrested two individuals attempting to smuggle nine undocumented immigrants locked in the bed of a tractor-trailer, a Customs and Border Protection news release announced.
The incident occurred approximately 8:30 p.m. Monday when agents were conducting surveillance on a white 2010 Volvo tractor trailer and a white 2015 Dodge Durango traveling westbound on Interstate 8.
Subsequently, agents lost sight of the Durango and followed the tractor-trailer as it approached the Campo Border Patrol checkpoint on I-8.
During primary inspection, BP agents conducted an immigration check on the driver.
During this inspection, a BP canine detection team alerted to the rear cargo area of the trailer, and the truck was referred to secondary for further inspection.
After further inspection of the cargo area, agents discovered nine undocumented immigrants who had been locked inside the bed of the trailer.
“This human smuggling technique is extremely callous,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “We’ve seen all too often when people are locked inside tractor-trailers like this with no means of escape, they are at the mercy of malicious smugglers. Smuggling cases such as these are a high priority for prosecution in the El Centro Sector.”
The male driver, a Mexican citizen and all nine undocumented immigrants were placed under arrest.
Later that evening, agents observed the driver of the Dodge Durango making unusual driving patterns on Interstate 8.
Through questioning, agents determined the male driver, a Mexican citizen, was a co-conspirator in the smuggling attempt.
The Campo Border Patrol Station assisted El Centro Sector agents with the apprehensions.
Both drivers were placed under federal custody pending felony alien smuggling charges.
Nine undocumented immigrants were found smuggled inside the bed of a tractor-trailer on Monday at the Campo Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8.