19 illegal immigrants found locked inside tractor-trailer

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SALTON CITY, Calif. — Border Patrol agents took a truck driver into custody Wednesday, along with 19 illegal immigrants found hiding in the tractor-trailer.

The incident occurred at a checkpoint about 60 miles from the Mexican border near Salton City at approximately 8:45 p.m.

Authorities said the 44-year-old driver was unusually nervous at the checkpoint. Agents referred the man to the secondary area for a closer examination. Unusual noises were heard coming from the tractor-trailer. After a search, agents discovered 19 illegal immigrants hidden in the back of the trailer with no way to open the door from the inside.

“This could have been a very dangerous situation if it weren’t for the air conditioner being turned on,” said Acting Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Miguel Garcia. “The illegal immigrants had no possibilities of exiting the tractor-trailer without an outside source.”

One Guatemalan citizen and the Mexican citizens will be processed and removed, authorities said.