Five U.S. Citizen Human Smugglers Arrested near Arizona Border
Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents arrested five human smugglers in three separate incidents which led to the apprehension of 11 migrants.
Agents interdicted three separate smuggling incidents on Wednesday, leading to the arrest of five U.S. citizens on charges of human smuggling. The incidents led to the apprehension of 11 migrants who illegally crossed the border from Mexico, according to information obtained from Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials.
Shortly before 10 p.m. on Wednesday, agents assigned to the State Route 85 immigration checkpoint observed a Volkswagen Passat rental car approaching for inspection. Two passengers and the driver occupied the vehicle. During an immigration interview, the agents determined the two passengers to be Mexican nationals who were illegally present in the U.S., officials stated. Border Patrol officials placed all three under arrest.
A short time later, an agent assigned to the Ajo Station conducted a vehicle stop on a Hyundai Elantra. The agent observed three passengers and a driver. During an immigration interview, the agent identified the driver and a passenger as U.S. citizens. The agent determined the two remaining passengers to be Mexican nationals illegally in the U.S. The agent placed the two U.S. citizens under arrest for human smuggling and seized their vehicle. The two Mexican nationals will be processed for removal under Tucson Sector guidelines.
Shortly before midnight, agents assigned to the Interstate 19 immigration checkpoint observed a Freightliner tractor-trailer approaching for inspection. During the initial inspection a K-9 agent alerted to an odor it is trained to detect. The agent referred the driver to a secondary inspection station.
Agents observed the refrigerated trailer to be padlocked and unlocked it for inspection. As the agents opened the rear door, they observed seven migrants hiding inside the trailer. The migrants, all Mexican nationals, were evaluated and determined to be in good health. Agents placed the driver under arrest and processed the seven Mexican nationals.
In total, the agents apprehended 11 illegal immigrants and arrested five U.S. citizens on human smuggling charges. A car and a tractor-trailer were seized in relation to the smuggling activities.