Thwarted Smuggling Attempt Results in Arrest of 24

El Centro, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents and members of the Imperial Valley Border Enforcement Security Task Force arrested two alleged smugglers and the driver of a pickup truck used to smuggle illegal aliens.

On July 22 at approximately 9:20 p.m., El Centro sector Border Patrol agents attempted to pull over a pick-up truck which failed to yield near Keystone Road and Highline Road, southeast of Brawley, Calif. The truck was later found off of Gonder Road near a ditch.

Upon searching the vehicle, agents discovered 15 people concealed under a tarp in the bed of the truck. All 15 were determined to be illegally present in the United States and were arrested. The driver of the pick-up truck had absconded but another individual who was a U.S. citizen was arrested on the scene. The U.S. citizen and the 15 illegal aliens were transported to the El Centro Border Patrol Station for processing.

Agents obtained information that led them to the house where the alleged driver was hiding. The following afternoon at approximately 1:30 p.m., El Centro sector Border Patrol agents in conjunction with IVBEST responded to the location where the alleged driver was hiding. Upon searching the premises, agents found the driver, who was illegally present in the U.S. In addition, seven illegal aliens were found including one whom was involved in the smuggling attempt.

The U.S. citizen, the alleged driver, and third smuggler will be held pending charges for alien smuggling. The pickup truck was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.