SALTON CITY, Calif. – Border agents found 14 undocumented immigrants in the bed of a dump truck when it stopped at a highway checkpoint in Imperial County early Thursday.
The white 1997 Ford dump truck stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint on Highway 86 near Salton City at about 4:40 a.m., authorities said. Border Patrol agents questioned the driver and asked permission to search the truck. The driver agreed to the search and when agents looked in the bed of the truck, they found 13 men and a woman hidden under a heavy tarp.
“This is an example of the blatant disregard for human life and safety to those being smuggled by these smuggling organizations,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim in a written statement. “This could have turned into a very bad situation if the vehicle would have gotten in an accident or left unattended for a long period of time.”
The 36-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of immigrant smuggling and the 14 people in the back were taken into custody.