Human Smugglers Undeterred by Coronavirus, Says Border Patrol in Arizona

U.S. Border Patrol agents find three illegal aliens locked in the trunk of a Buick sedan in southern Arizona. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Tucson Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Tucson Sector

Border Patrol officials in the Tucson Sector say cartel-connected human smugglers are not deterred by the Coronavirus pandemic as they continue to push migrants into the United States. Over the Easter weekend, agents in the sector disrupted two smuggling attempts.

Ajo Station agents patrolling the highways of southern Arizona pulled over a late model Nissan sedan to conduct an immigration inspection, according to Tucson Sector officials. Agents identified the driver as a 25-year-old Phoenix woman. The agents also identified her three passengers as illegal border crossers, officials stated.

On Easter Sunday, agents assigned to the Route 85 immigration checkpoint near Gila Bend observed a Buick sedan. During an initial interview and inspection, a K-9 alerted to an odor near the trunk of the sedan.

The agents identified the driver as a 39-year-old Phoenix woman.

The agents referred the woman to a secondary inspection area where a search of the trunk led to the discovery of two illegal immigrants.

Officials said the agents arrested the two U.S. citizen drivers and their five migrants on charges related to human smuggling and immigration violations.

“Despite traditional risks of human beings being stuffed into a trunk, there’s now increased risk due to exposure to Coronavirus,” Tucson Sector Border Patrol Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Michele Morales said in a written statement. “These human smuggling tactics increase exposure risks for our agents, those they smuggle, and endanger the safety of the American people.”

During the month of March, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 5,074 migrants after they illegally crossed the border from Mexico, according to the March Southwest Border Migration Report — the second-largest number of apprehensions of the nine southwest border sectors. That number is down only slightly from the 5,184 apprehended in February.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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