Eleven Chinese migrants were caught trying to get into the U.S. by stuffing themselves into several pieces of furniture inside a truck that tried to cross the U.S.-Mexico border on Saturday, federal authorities said.
The brazen human smuggling attempt was thwarted at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, Calif., during a routine inspection, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The migrants, all of whom appeared to be adults, were hiding inside a washing machine, a dresser, a chest and other furniture, the agency said in a news release. The driver, identified only as a 42-year-old U.S. citizen, was taken into custody and will face criminal charges.
“CBP cannot stress enough the dangers of smuggling people,” Pete Flores, a CBP director of field operations in San Diego, said in a statement. “These are human beings that smugglers subject to inhumane conditions that could have deadly consequences.”
None of the migrants was seriously injured, Flores said. An immigration hold was placed on the group as they await criminal proceedings, according to the agency.
The incident follows a series of foiled smuggling attempts in California. On Nov. 7, authorities said six Chinese nationals were caught hiding behind a false wall in a truck that tried to cross the border through the San Ysidro port of entry.
Just weeks later, a 17-year-old Mexican migrant was found hidden in the dashboard compartment of a Ford Taurus at the Calexico West port of entry in California, CBP officials said. A day later, an 18-year-old Mexican citizen was allegedly caught inside a bolted-down seat compartment of a Ford Focus that was stopped at the Otay Mesa port of entry — also in San Diego.
© 2019 New York Daily News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.