PINE VALLEY, Calif.—Last weekend, Border Patrol agents arrested two individuals who prioritized profits over human life by attempting to smuggle two Mexican nationals through the Border Patrol checkpoint near Pine Valley.
At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, a 29-year-old female driver and 31-year-old male passenger arrived at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 driving in a 2014 Ford Fusion. As the vehicle approached the checkpoint, a Border Patrol K-9 team working in the pre-primary area alerted to the vehicle. Subsequently, the vehicle was referred to secondary inspection for further investigation. In the secondary inspection area, agents questioned the female driver, who admitted that someone was in the trunk of the vehicle.
Agents opened the trunk and discovered two men inside who were sweating profusely. One man indicated that he had been inside the trunk for nearly an hour and had difficulty breathing due to the poor air circulation. The men admitted they were Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S.
“The blatant disregard for human life by criminal organizations involved in human smuggling is despicable. There is no escape for those individuals forced into the trunk of a vehicle by the smugglers,” said David BeMiller, Patrol Agent in Charge of the Campo Station. “Thanks to the vigilance of Campo agents working at the Interstate 8 checkpoint, these individuals were rescued and the smugglers will face prosecution. The utilization of checkpoints throughout San Diego Sector further enhances our ability to target illicit activity and keep our communities safe.”
The driver and passenger, both U.S. citizens, were arrested for human smuggling and the Ford Fusion was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
In fiscal year 2015, San Diego Sector intercepted 26,290 people for illegal entry into the U.S.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.