YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Wellton station intercepted four different human smuggling attempts on Wednesday.
Agents working at the Interstate 8 immigration checkpoint discovered two of these smuggling attempts within 10 minutes of each other. First, at approximately 2:45 a.m., agents referred a California-plated Infiniti sedan to the secondary inspection area following a canine alert. In secondary, agents discovered a male driver and female passenger, both United States citizens, smuggling a Mexican national, who was later identified as Luis Hernandez-Huazo. Huazo is an aggravated felon who was convicted of child cruelty that resulted in injury/death in March 2012 in Monterey, California. Hernandez-Huazo faces charges for reentry of an aggravated felon after previously being removed from the U.S.
Approximately 10 minutes later, agents referred a California-plated Chevrolet Tahoe to the checkpoint’s secondary inspection area for an immigration inspection and discovered a male U.S. citizen and a female citizen of El Salvador, who is in the U.S. as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, smuggling four Mexican nationals.
Then, at approximately 6:30 a.m., agents working along Interstate 8 east of Yuma conducted a vehicle stop on a California-plated Nissan Quest and discovered a 20-year-old female U.S. citizen, of Yuma, smuggling four Mexican nationals and one El Salvadoran national.
Finally, at approximately noon, a Wellton agent assisted a Yuma County Sheriff’s deputy with a vehicle stop on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 8 near mile marker 32 and encountered yet another smuggling attempt. A California-plated Toyota Highlander, driven by a male U.S. citizen, was stopped for a traffic violation. The vehicle’s windows were so darkly tinted that the inside of the vehicle was not visible; however, the 58-year-old driver claimed to be alone. A USBP canine handler responded to the stop and conducted a canine sniff of the vehicle. The canine alerted to the vehicle and, as a result, agents searched the vehicle and found three Mexican nationals hiding under clothes and bags on the back seat.
All of the subjects in these events were arrested for either alien smuggling or for being unlawfully present in the U.S. Most of migrants will be returned to Mexico under the Title 42 directive.