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Army reservist arrested at border, suspected of human smuggling

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SAN DIEGO — A US Army reservist was arrested on suspicion of human smuggling in Otay Mesa Saturday, officials confirmed.

The man was driving a car that was stopped at the border around 4 p.m. Agents interviewed the five people inside the car, all men, and determined two were U.S. citizens and the other three were undocumented Mexican nationals, Customs and Border Protection Officer Ralph Desio said.

The driver of the car claimed to be a California National Guardsman in the process of separating from the service, according to Desio. But National Guard spokesman Lt. Col Jonathan Shirmo said was not with the National Guard and was instead believed to be a U.S. Army reservist.

The Army could not be immediately reached for comment. The reserve soldier is not a part of the National Guard’s current border security mission, DeSio said.

In a press release, DeSio confirmed the reserve soldier and another U.S. citizen, both men, could potentially face charges for human smuggling.

The three undocumented Mexican nationals are being held as witnesses in the case, and will later face deportation proceedings, according to the press release.

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