Border Patrol agents working at two different immigration checkpoints arrested 26 illegal aliens in two human smuggling attempts over the last week.
Just after midnight last night, a Wellton Station Border Patrol supervisor was working the immigration checkpoint on eastbound Interstate 8 near Yuma when a white Ford E-350 passenger van containing 13 subjects stopped for inspection. A work helmet and reflective safety vest commonly worn by laborers were displayed on the dashboard. The driver, a 31-year-old male from Mexico, was questioned as to his citizenship and determined to be lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
The 12 passengers were also questioned as to their citizenship and all were determined to be illegal aliens from Mexico. The driver was arrested for smuggling charges and the 12 illegal aliens were processed for removal proceedings.
A second significant human smuggling attempt occurred Friday. Blythe Station Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 78 Immigration Checkpoint near Palo Verde, California arrested 14 illegal aliens after they attempted to circumvent the checkpoint on foot. Thirteen were Mexican nationals and one was a Guatemalan national. All were determined to have been part of a human smuggling attempt and were processed for removal proceedings.