CALEXICO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry Friday thwarted a human-smuggling attempt after discovering a pregnant woman concealed in a specially-built compartment in a vehicle.
The incident occurred at about 4:30 a.m. on June 27, when a 63-year-old female entered the downtown port driving a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria. CBP officers targeted the vehicle and referred the driver for further examination.
Officers utilized the port’s imaging system and discovered anomalies in the vehicle’s rear seats. A CBP human and narcotics detector dog alerted to the area, leading officers to the discovery of a pregnant woman hiding inside an electronically-accessed hidden compartment.
Officers extracted the woman, a 22-year-old Mexican citizen, from the compartment and escorted her to a secure location for further processing.
The driver, a U.S. citizen and resident of El Centro, was arrested and later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await criminal arraignment.
CBP seized the vehicle.