NILAND, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents seized a clone delivery truck and arrested a United States citizen accused of transporting eight undocumented individuals Thursday afternoon.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:45 p.m., when El Centro Sector agents observed a white delivery van near the Highway 111 immigration checkpoint near Niland, exhibiting signs consistent with human smuggling.
Agents conducted a vehicle stop and during the initial approach of the vehicle, the driver attempted to identify himself as a delivery man. After giving consent to search the cargo area, agents discovered eight undocumented individuals attempting to conceal themselves.
The driver, a 37-year-old man, will face federal charges. The eight men, all adult Mexican nationals, were taken into custody and transported to the Highway 111 Checkpoint to be processed accordingly. The cloned vehicle was seized as per El Centro Sector guidelines.
“Our agents will continue to put pressure on transnational criminal organizations who believe that their illicit activities will not have consequences,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino. “This is an example of how smugglers view the humans they smuggle for profit – as if they were nothing more than cargo.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.