Willcox Station Border Patrol agents arrested a male MS-13 gang member Friday evening at the State Route 90 Immigration Checkpoint near Whetstone, after identifying his two passengers as illegal aliens from Mexico.
An agent working the primary inspection lane encountered a Ford sedan and while questioning the occupants, identified the driver as a 40-year-old MS-13 gang member from El Paso, Texas, transporting two men, ages 28 and 48, who had entered the country illegally.
Both illegal aliens were transported to the Willcox Station for processing on immigration violations. The driver faces human smuggling charges and will remain in custody pending court proceedings.
Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics, approximately 300 gang members have been arrested in the U.S. so far this fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2017.