Man, 44, arrested in human smuggling attempt

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OCOTILLO, Calif. — Agents from the U.S. Border Patrol arrested a 44-year-old U.S. citizen Tuesday on Interstate 8 east of Ocotillo after they found the man was smuggling five illegal immigrants in his vehicle.

The driver’s vehicle was pulled over by an agent just before 10 a.m. Agents assigned to the El Centro Sector determined the five passengers were illegally present in the U.S., according to a border patrol spokesman.

All six men were transported to an “immigration rally point” for processing. The driver, who has not been publicly identified, was processed administratively for 8 USC 1324 Alien Smuggling. The five passengers — each listed by border patrol as adult Mexican men — were expelled back to their country of origin.

The driver previously was incarcerated after a 1999 conviction for having sex with a minor out of Santa Maria, agents said. He was sentenced to 18 months of incarceration for that conviction.

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