Chinese immigrant found locked in compartment of impounded truck

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SAN DIEGO — A Chinese man in the country unlawfully was found locked inside a compartment of an impounded pickup truck over the weekend, It was reported Monday.

Police stopped the 2016 Toyota Tundra early Saturday morning on Interstate 15 near Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and impounded the pickup after the driver was ticketed for speeding and driving without a license, San Diego police Sgt. Tom Sullivan told the Union-Tribune.

The truck was towed by Road One Towing to a lot on Ruffner Street near Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, but while taking inventory there, a tow company employee heard yelling and banging from inside the vehicle, Sullivan told the newspaper. Officers and firefighters responded to the lot, where they found the man locked into a secret compartment built behind the backseat.

The man was not injured but couldn’t get out on his own, and employees at the impound lot had to unbolt the seat to retrieve him, the Union-Tribune reported. Officers searching the pickup also found a handgun with 15 rounds of ammunition.

Border Patrol agents arrested the Chinese man and began the process of removing him from the country, an agency spokesman told the newspaper. The truck’s driver was arrested and charged with human smuggling.

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