El Centro, California - El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended a total of 16 undocumented individuals in two smuggling events Wednesday night.
The first incident occurred at approximately 9:15 p.m., when agents observed a white GMC Sierra cargo van in a known corridor for potential smuggling activity in El Centro. Agents suspected the vehicle was being used for human smuggling and conducted a vehicle stop on the cargo van approximately one mile south of Interstate 8 and Bonds Corner Road.
Agents approached the vehicle and discovered 14 undocumented individuals that were being transported inside the cargo van. Agents safely removed all of the subjects and conducted welfare checks. The driver, a 55-year-old lawfully admitted permanent resident from Mexico, and all 14 undocumented individuals, Mexican nationals, were transported to the El Centro Sector Processing Center for further processing.
El Centro Sector seized the vehicle, and the driver was processed administratively for human smuggling. The 14 undocumented individuals were expelled back to Mexico under Title 42.
The second incident occurred at 10:40 p.m., when agents observed a silver Kia Rondo on Highway 98 that was exhibiting signs consistent with human smuggling. Agents then conducted a vehicle stop on the minivan on Highway 98, about 14 miles west of Calexico.
During the stop, agents searched the vehicle and found a hidden compartment in the rear of the vehicle with two undocumented individuals locked inside. Agents safely removed the two subjects and conducted welfare checks. The driver, a 38-year-old United States citizen, and two undocumented individuals were transported to the El Centro Sector Processing Center for further processing.
El Centro Sector seized the vehicle, and all subjects will be processed accordingly.