Two Armed Human Smugglers Arrested at California Border Interior Checkpoints
Yuma and San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents arrested two armed human smugglers in separate incidents. Both incidents took place at interior immigration checkpoints manned by Border Patrol agents.
Yuma Sector agents assigned to the Blythe Station observed a BMW sedan approaching the Highway 78 immigration checkpoint located northwest of Palo Verde, California, on Wednesday evening, according to information obtained from Border Patrol officials.
During an immigration inspection, the agents identified the two females in the back seat as Mexican nationals. Officials report the two as being illegally present in the United States.
The agents directed the driver, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen from Anaheim, California, to a secondary inspection station. A Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the possible presence of drugs. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of 0.72 grams of heroin, four grams of methamphetamine, more than three grams of marijuana, ten pieces of drug paraphernalia, and a cache of potentially fake or stolen credit cards, officials stated.
The agents also found a loaded handgun with the markings filed off and a printer possibly used to create fraudulent documents, according to the press release.
The agents arrested the driver, seized the guns and drugs, and turned the case over to federal investigators. During a records check, the agents learned the and the front-seat passengers have multiple felony convictions for burglary and receiving stolen property, DUI/Hit and Run, and possession of dangerous drugs.
The agents also arrested the front-seat passenger for his role in the alleged human smuggling case.
— Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke (@USBPChiefSDC) June 25, 2021
A few days earlier, San Diego Sector agents assigned to the State Route 94 immigration checkpoint observed a flatbed truck loaded with a silver minivan approaching for inspection. The agents questioned the two men in the cab of the truck regarding their immigration status.
Another agent climbed onto the flatbed and looked inside the windows of the minivan. As the agent approached the rear of the vehicle he observed the silhouette of a human body.
The agent opened the rear door of the minivan and found four men hiding inside. The agent observed the four men sweating profusely due to the intense heat inside the van. The agent identified the four men as Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S.
A search of the truck’s cabin revealed a loaded handgun inside a toolbox near the driver’s seat.
Officials contacted the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department who cited the driver for improper transportation of a loaded handgun. The agents transported the migrants to the station for processing and seized the minivan. They returned the tow truck to the towing company.