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Crime

Smuggling suspect arrested after 26 people discovered in tractor-trailer

Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint found a tractor-trailer attempting to smuggle 26 undocumented immigrants into the United States.

The truck and trailer pulled up to the checkpoint Wednesday at approximately 9:40 p.m.

According to a news release by the El Centro Border Patrol, agents conducted an immigration check on the driver during the primary inspection. As the inspection went on, a Border Patrol canine detection team alerted agents to the rear cargo area of the trailer. The driver and trailer were sent to secondary inspection for further examination.

Agents ended up finding a total of 26 undocumented immigrants inside the trailer. There were two juveniles among the 26 people, according to Border Patrol.

Border Patrol also revealed that the 26 people were locked inside the trailer with no safety restraints. The trailer was also locked from the outside with no means of escape. Agents were able to safely remove all occupants.

“The undocumented immigrants were locked and trapped inside this tracker-trailer in below 45-degree weather with no safety restraints,” said Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez. “This smuggling organization had no regard for the safety of the people they were smuggling. Fortunately, our agents were able to remove them from that potentially life-threatening situation.”

The driver, a 32-year-old man, presented a California driver license, however, it was later identified to be a fake license. Agents were able to determine the driver was actually a Mexican national illegally present in the United States.

The driver and all 26 people were placed under arrest.

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Jesus Reyes

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