Pair held af­ter border agents find 9 im­mi­grants in trailer

Two Mex­i­can cit­i­zens are sus­pected of hu­man smug­gling at­tempt in Campo.

Los Angeles Times - - CITY & STATE - By Alex Rig­gins alex.rig­[email protected]­tri­ Rig­gins writes for the San Diego Union-Tri­bune.

SAN DIEGO — A big rig with nine im­mi­grants locked in its trailer was dis­cov­ered this week at the Border Patrol check­point on west­bound In­ter­state 8 in Campo, au­thor­i­ties said.

Border Patrol agents from the El Cen­tro sec­tor were con­duct­ing sur­veil­lance on the 2010 Volvo trac­tor-trailer around 8:30 p.m. Mon­day when it pulled into the Campo check­point, Border Patrol of­fi­cials said. Dur­ing an ini­tial in­spec­tion, a dog ze­roed in on the trailer, and the big rig was sent for a more thor­ough check.

Agents found nine peo­ple “locked in­side the trailer with no way to [free] them­selves,” of­fi­cials said.

A Mex­i­can man driv­ing the big rig and all nine of those found in the trailer were ar­rested.

“This hu­man smug­gling tech­nique is ex­tremely cal­lous,” Chief Patrol Agent Glo­ria Chavez said in a state­ment. “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.”

Later that night, agents ar­rested a sec­ond sus­pected smug­gler who was “mak­ing un­usual driv­ing pat­terns” in a 2015 Dodge Du­rango that had been seen driv­ing near the big rig, of­fi­cials said.

“Through ques­tion­ing, agents de­ter­mined that the driver, a Mex­i­can cit­i­zen, was a co-con­spir­a­tor in the smug­gling event,” agents said in a state­ment.

Both sus­pected smug­glers were ex­pected to face fed­eral charges.

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