An American man suspected of smuggling illegal aliens in a cloned county truck was busted by Border Patrol agents.
Border Patrol agents assigned to the Calexico Station received a call about a group of suspected illegal aliens that had crossed the border near the Calexico East Port of Entry in southern California. The group had crossed the border via one of the Imperial Irrigation District’s (IID) hydro-electric plants, information obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials revealed. The electricity generation plant spans the All-American Canal.
At about 7:37 Monday night, Border Patrol agents responded to the call of the suspected illegal border crossers. As they arrived on the scene they observed a man waiting in what appeared to be an IID service truck. He was parked near the area where “the suspected illegal aliens were noticed,” CBP officials stated.
After checking out the truck, the Border Patrol agents determined it to be a fraud. The truck was registered to an insurance company from Arizona. The IID decals were counterfeit.
After a short interview, the driver reportedly confessed to being involved in “an alien smuggling scheme,” CBP officials stated.
Deputies with the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office were notified of the fake county truck. The deputy responding to the scene and impounded the truck for displaying fictitious license plates.
The driver, an 18-year-old American citizen, was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. He was transported to the Calexico Border Patrol Station for further investigation.
Agents searched the area and discovered six illegal aliens who they believe were to be picked up by the cloned truck’s driver. The illegal aliens were taken into custody.
“The vigilance that our Border Patrol Agents display is vital in defeating criminal organizations and their astute smuggling tactics,” Chief Patrol Agent Rodney S. Scott said in a written statement.
Cloning service vehicles appears to be a growing trend in cartel-connected human smuggling operations. In October, Breitbart Texas reported on a human smuggler who had cloned a company service truck to smuggle illegal aliens in south Texas. Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector spotted a group of four illegal immigrants get off a white truck with yellow markings.
Other smugglers boldly cloned a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle in their effort to deceive law enforcement. Breitbart Texas reported in December 2015 that human smugglers had been caught with a load of illegal immigrants in a SUV that had been made up to look like a Border Patrol vehicle, Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza told Breitbart Texas while acting in his capacity as president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2455. After stopping the suspicious vehicle the driver was arrested and the agent found 12 illegal aliens stuffed inside the Chevy Tahoe that had been painted with Border Patrol vehicle markings.