TUCSON – U.S. Border Patrol agents found 30 Mexican nationals, including women and children packed in a pickup truck abandoned by their smuggler.
Tucson Sector agents patrolling east of Douglas, Arizona responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle near the international boundary.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agents found the Ford F-250 pickup truck approaching Douglas on a dirt road. As they attempted a vehicle immigration stop, the driver abandoned the truck in the driveway of a random house and fled on foot into nearby neighborhoods. That is when agents found the 30 Mexican nationals.
All 30 people were illegally present in the United States, and expelled to Mexico.
After an exhaustive search, agents were unable to locate the smuggler.
“Smugglers have long disregarded the safety of migrants. Now, during the pandemic, they not only risk the lives of migrants, they risk all of our lives by shoving migrants into vehicles without social distancing, without facial masks, and without any regard for the exposure of COVID-19 to other migrants and public at large, ” said Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal in a press release. “They show no regard for the lives they exploit, our workforce or the communities our agents strive to protect in the midst of this public health crisis.”
A records checks revealed the truck was reported stolen out of the Phoenix metropolitan area.