A 22-year-old man was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents Sunday afternoon after he attempted to flee from a checkpoint in Pine Valley, California, where agents found he was allegedly smuggling three people in his car trunk.
At approximately 3 p.m. Sunday, agents at the Interstate 8 checkpoint made contact with a man driving a 2015 Kia Forte. After a Border Patrol K-9 at the Pine Valley checkpoint alerted to the man’s vehicle, agents asked him to open the trunk.
The man immediately tried to escape from the checkpoint by speeding off, but agents activated a nearby tire deflation device, successfully dissuading the driver from going further.
The agents then inspected the car’s trunk and found three male Mexican nationals. The driver was arrested for human smuggling.
Agents helped the three men in the trunk, who told them that the enclosed area was very tight and extremely hot (in excess of 100 degrees) with little air flow. During questioning of the men, agents found that the subjects were Mexican citizens who were illegally in the United States.
In a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, David BeMiller, patrol agent in charge, said “Campo Station agents did a fantastic job in detecting this human smuggling load, leading to the rescue of three individuals, and now the driver faces criminal prosecution.”
The driver is being held in Department of Homeland Security custody and his vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
According to the release from Oct. 1, 2015, to May 31, 2016, Border Patrol agents in the San Diego Sector have rescued 46 people.