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‘Inhumane’ smuggling attempt uncovers Mexican man inside car seat, border agents say

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discover a man hidden inside the rear seat of a black Mitsubishi early Monday, March 10, 2020. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection/TNS)

Federal agents have arrested an 18-year-old woman after Border Patrol officers found a man hidden underneath the rear seat of a vehicle at the Mexican border, according to a news release.

The woman, driving a black Mitsubishi, was stopped early Monday at the Calexico West Port of Entry, where a Border Patrol agent at the booth ordered an in-depth examination of the driver and vehicle, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The border separates Calexico, Calif. — a dusty city about two hours east of San Diego — from Mexicali, Mexico.

A canine team screened the vehicle, and a detector dog alerted authorities to the car’s rear area, where they found a 48-year-old Mexican citizen, according to the agency. Pictures show the man hiding beneath a concealed compartment below two seats.

Authorities escorted the man into an area for further processing. The driver, a U.S. citizen, was transported to Imperial County Jail to await criminal proceedings.

“The primary focus of our national security mission is to protect the American homeland from all threats,” Pete Flores, Border Protection’s director of field operations for San Diego, said in a statement. “Although we routinely encounter individuals attempting to enter our country illegally, this incident serves as another example of the inhumane tactics human smugglers will utilize in order to circumvent our laws.”


© 2020 Los Angeles Times

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.