Convicted sex offender caught in human smuggling bust

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SAN DIEGO — Border Patrol agents arrested a convicted sex offender in Potrero Wednesday during a human smuggling bust, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday.

According to the CBP, Border Patrol agents flagged down a black Nissan Sentra around 6:20 a.m. after the car failed to stop for inspection at an immigration checkpoint. Agents stopped the car a few yards away from the checkpoint and found five males inside the vehicle.

The driver and front passenger told Border Patrol agents they were both U.S. citizens. The three passengers in the backseat told agents they were from Mexico and in the U.S. illegally.

The two U.S. citizens were arrested and charged with human smuggling.

Two of the other passengers — one of whom was 16 years old — were expected to be processed for removal.

Border Patrol agents said the fifth passenger, a 39-year-old Mexican national, was convicted of kidnapping and raping a minor in San Diego in 2012. He had been sentenced to seven years in prison and was later removed from the country.

The CBP said the convicted sex offender now faces federal charges for illegally re-entering the U.S.

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