Border Patrol Agents Nab Human Smugglers

Willcox Border Patrol agents arrested five persons in a disrupted smuggling attempt at the State Route 90 Immigration Checkpoint Sunday afternoon near Whetstone.

Agents working the primary inspection lane conducted an immigration inspection on three visible occupants in a Chevrolet Avalanche; all 18 years of age. During the inspection, a Border Patrol canine alerted to an odor trained to detect coming from the vehicle.

Agents then referred the vehicle for a secondary inspection and discovered two Mexican men, ages 21 and 27, concealed under a hard bedcover in the rear of the vehicle. Agents arrested both men for immigration violations and seized the vehicle.

The three 18-year-olds, all residents of Sierra Vista, were also arrested and will remain in custody pending a disposition on federal smuggling charges.

Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt.

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