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SAN DIEGO — A man suspected of leading a human smuggling organization and who had become a “top target” for Border Patrol agents in San Diego County was arrested Thursday.

Several investigations indicated that the 43-year-old Mexican man orchestrated smuggling events throughout the county, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release.

The takedown happened not far from a Chula Vista motel. Border Patrol agents were watching a Chevy Suburban around 6:15 a.m. that they believed was connected to the suspected smuggler, the release said. They saw two men exit a motel room followed by a third man, who they say was their target.

Agents followed the Suburban as it left the motel parking lot. They pulled over the SUV and questioned the people inside. Agents arrested the alleged smuggling leader and five Mexican nationals who were in the country illegally, according to Border Patrol.

The operation netted two additional arrests when agents apprehended two alleged co-conspirators at the motel. Three people are facing human smuggling charges and the other five were taken to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing, a news release said.

Border Patrol did not identify the 43-year-old man who was taken into custody.