CALEXICO, Calif. – U.S. border officers found a Mexican citizen hidden under the back seat of car during a late-night inspection at the Calexico border crossing.
The 48-year-old man was found in a cramped secret compartment in a black Mitsubishi sedan, according to U.S.Customs and Border Protection.
An 18-year-old woman, who is a U.S. citizen, drove the car to the Calexico West port of entry at about 1:10 a.m. Monday. CBP officers at the crossing booth sent the car for a more thorough inspection. A search dog alerted to the back seat during the inspection, and when officers dismantled the seat, they found the man crammed into the small space under it.
“Although we routinely encounter individuals attempting to enter our country illegally, this incident serves as another example of the inhumane tactics human smugglers will utilize in order to circumvent our laws,” CBP Director of Field Operations for San Diego Pete Flores said Tuesday in a news release about the incident.
CBP officers took the man to a secure area for processing. The woman driving the car was arrested on suspicion of immigrant smuggling and taken to Imperial County Jail.