TUCSON – A 55-year-old Mexican national human smuggler is accused of subjecting women and children to inhumane conditions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Border Patrol agents caught the man smuggling 14 men, women and children in a pickup truck near Douglas, Arizona.
On Monday, at approximately 7 a.m., a Tucson Sector agent conducted an immigration inspection on the occupants of a Ford pickup traveling west on Geronimo Trail, just east of town. During the inspection, the agent saw people concealed behind the single cab pickup seat, prompting the arrest of the vehicle’s occupants, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Discovered throughout the pickup were 15 individuals, including the driver and two accompanied children. Four were concealed behind the seat. Ten others were in the bed, hidden beneath a makeshift, plywood bed cover.
The unidentified smuggler remains in custody, pending federal smuggling charges. All 14 Mexican nationals and the lone Ecuadorian national were arrested for being illegally present in the United States.