Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector busted a human smuggler and a drug trafficker at an inland border checkpoint in Arizona over a two-day period this week.
Agents working at the Interstate 19 checkpoint in southern Arizona on October 17 were alerted to the presence of a smuggling attempt by a K-9 officer. The driver of a Hyundai Sonata had approached the checkpoint near Amado, Arizona. A K-9 alerted to the presence of something being smuggled in the trunk of the vehicle.
Agents had the driver opened the trunk and discovered three people locked inside the hot trunk of the car. The agents identified the human cargo as being three Mexican nationals. The driver of the car, a U.S. citizen, was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for possible charges of human smuggling.
“The Mexican nationals are being processed in accordance with agency guidelines,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials wrote in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.
The following day, the driver of a Chevrolet pickup truck approached the same inland checkpoint. The driver was asked to move the vehicle to a secondary inspection station after a K-9 alerted to the possible presence of drugs. A subsequent search of the truck revealed multiple bundles of drugs stashed inside the truck.
Agents determined the drugs to be more than 55 pounds of cocaine. Officials estimated the street value of the cocaine to be in excess of $630,000.
Border Patrol officials arrested the driver of the truck and seized the truck and the cocaine. The nationality of the driver was not disclosed by Border Patrol officials. He now faces possible federal charges of smuggling drugs.
Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection stated these inland checkpoints remain “a critical piece of infrastructure” for the interdiction of drugs and reducing the dangerous human smuggling practices of those packing human beings into the back of cars and trucks.