CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico downtown port of entry stopped a human-smuggling attempt Monday after discovering two Mexican citizens concealed inside the floor storage compartment of a minivan driven by a mother traveling with her three young children.
The incident occurred shortly before 10:30 p.m. on May 13, when a 26-year-old woman traveling with her three children entered the downtown port driving a 2008 Dodge Caravan. A CBP officer detected inconsistencies with the woman’s story, performed a cursory inspection of the minivan and discovered two adults laying inside a storage compartment in the floor. CBP officers immediately responded to take the driver into custody and escorted the minor children to a safe area away from the scene.
Officers extracted both of the individuals from the compartment, as they had no means of evacuating the vehicle without assistance, and took them into custody for a medical evaluation and further processing. Officers ultimately confirmed that the 23-year-old man and 27-year-old woman were both Mexican citizens that had no legal ability to enter the United States.
The driver, a U.S. citizen and resident of Mexicali, Baja Mexico, was arrested on federal human smuggling charges and later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await criminal arraignment.
The three children were released to the custody of a family member.
CBP seized the vehicle.
CBP officers at the border crossings in Southern California routinely stop illegal activity, while processing millions of legitimate travelers into the United States. Those statistics can be found here: CBP-enforcement-statistics
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