Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a pair of alleged human smugglers reportedly attempting to move two migrants locked in their trunk through an immigration checkpoint in South Texas.
Carrizo Springs Station Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 277 Immigration Checkpoint on August 29 observed a 2003 BMW approaching for inspection. During an immigration interview, the agents determined the driver, Brendon Taylor Bobbitt, 27, is a U.S. citizen and his passenger, Jessica Llanos Garcia, 36, is a foreign national with permanent resident status. A search of the car uncovered two migrants locked in the trunk.
“High temperatures and other dangers including carbon monoxide poisoning can cause serious injuries to people riding in the trunk of a car,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement. “This case is just another example of the hazardous conditions human smugglers force upon illegal aliens.”
The agents arrested Bobbitt and Garcia and charged them with alien smuggling, officials reported. If convicted under the 8 USC 1324 alien smuggling charge, Bobbitt and Garcia could each face up to 10 years in federal prison.
The dangers of smugglers hiding migrants in their trunk was illustrated in an August 2018 attempt where three migrants were locked in the trunk of a Nissan Infinity in Arizona. When Border Patrol agents attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver refused and led the agents on a high-speed chase exceeding 100 mph, Breitbart Texas reported. The driver lost control and crashed into a 25-foot ditch. The migrants remained trapped in the smoking vehicle when Border Patrol agents approached and heard them knocking on the trunk to get out. The agents transported the migrants to a hospital for evaluation and treatment for their injuries.
In another Arizona smuggling incident in May 2018, a human smuggler with illegal aliens locked in the trunk of a Hyundai sedan led agents on a high-speed chase. The chase lasted more than 20 miles before the driver finally came to a stop. The agents found two people locked in the trunk with no means of escape, Breitbart Texas reported.
In April 2019, a Phoenix woman attempted to flee from an immigration checkpoint in a Chevrolet sedan with two migrants locked in the trunk. While this pursuit only lasted for a mile, the two migrants had no way to escape in the event of a crash or being abandoned by the human smuggler.