Agents Discover Nine Individuals Dangerously Concealed Inside a Utility Cargo Box Compartment

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SALTON CITY, CALIFORNIA  – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents prevented a man from smuggling a group of ten undocumented individuals Thursday afternoon.

The incident occurred at about 4:30 p.m., when a man driving a white 2006 Ford F-350 utility vehicle and his passenger approached the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint. During an immigration inspection of the driver and the passenger, a Border Patrol K-9 detection team alerted to the rear of the vehicle and referred them to secondary inspection.

During secondary inspection, agents checked the utility cargo box located in the rear of the vehicle and discovered nine undocumented individuals locked inside, with no safety restraints, limited ventilation, and no way to free themselves from the inside. Agents safely removed all the individuals, conducted welfare checks, and determined that no one required any medical attention. Additionally, agents concluded that the front passenger was an undocumented individual. All 11 individuals, including the driver, were transported to El Centro Sector Centralized Processing Center for further processing.

The suspected smuggler, a 21-year-old man, who is a United States citizen, faces smuggling charges. The remaining ten undocumented individuals, all adults from Mexico, are being processed for removal under Title 42.

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